Overseas Livestreaming Drives Huya Parent JOYY’s First Quarter Revenue Growth

Video-based social media platform and Huya parent company JOYY reported strong growth in the first quarter of 2020 as the company further pushes and monetizes its overseas live-streaming apps, the company said in its earnings results on Wednesday.

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Formerly known as YY Inc., JOYY owns game live-streaming platform Huya and YY in China, as well as live-streaming apps Bigo Live and Hago in overseas markets. Additionally, the company also owns Likee, a short video app that operates outside China.

JOYY saw its net revenues rise close to 50% year on year in the first quarter of 2020, reaching RMB 7.15 billion, beating analyst expectations of RMB 6.83 billion. The period’s net income was RMB 386.7 million, exceeding the estimates that predicted a net loss of RMB 38.8 million.

JOYY attributed the increase in revenues to the high performance of live-streaming platforms under its belt, which contributed a total of RMB 6.76 billion in revenue in the first quarter, accounting for close to 95% of the company’s total revenues for the period.

While Huya‘s net revenues grew 47.8% year on year to RMB 2.40 billion, the fastest growing platform was Bigo Live, which saw its earnings almost doubling year on year to RMB 1.97 billion. JOYY attributed the growth of Bigo Live to JOYY’s continuous global expansion efforts.

The company also achieved substantial success in overseas markets with short video app Likee. In the first quarter of 2020, the app’s MAUs rocketed 121.9% year over year to 131.6 million as it accelerated its expansion.

Huya‘s paying users grew 13% compared to the same period last year to 6.1 million, but the number of paying users from YY decreased 3.6% year on year to 4 million, primarily due to the impact of COVID-19.

“For now, the adverse impacts of the global COVID-19 pandemic to our operation have been relatively mild, as the demand for online entertainment content and engaging social media networks remained resilient,” said Jin Bing, chief financial officer of JOYY.

In April, Tencent gained majority control over Huya via a wholly-owned subsidiary at $262 million, making it a Tencent subsidiary. Starting from the second quarter of 2020, JOYY will no longer consolidate the financial statements of Huya.