Chinese Tech Giant Tencent Launches New Video Platform to Attract Elderly and Rural Consumers

Chinese tech giant Tencent launched a new video platform named Pianduoduo that rewards users for watching videos, aiming at constantly expanding among the elderly and rural populations. A check on Thursday showed that the app has been download over 96,000 times on Xiaomi’s app store.

Pianduoduo, which literally means “lots of videos” in Chinese, provides users with tens of thousands of classic movies and TV series for free, such as imperial court drama Princess Pearl and Kangxi Dynasty, reality drama Country Love and historical Romance of the Three Kingdoms -all of which require membership to be watched on Tencent Video.

Popular movies and live shows make up only a small part of the video library in Pianduoduo, which shows that its target audience is mainly elderly and rural populations, as well as young people who are nostalgic about movies in the 1990s. More than 100 million Chinese consumers aged above 50 use mobile internet, spending an average of 136 hours a month on their smart devices, according to a QuestMobile survey.

Paying users is an increasingly common tactic among internet companies to quickly grow their user base. According to previous reports from Beijing Daily and other media outlets, many apps try to lure middle-aged and elderly users to browse their pages by offering cash rewards.

(Source: Pianduoduo)

Capped at 3,600 coins per day, for a total monetary value of 0.2 yuan, users can earn 60 coins for every minute they watch, which can be quite appealing for people with spare time. Users can watch videos in landscape mode without being distracted by recommendations, small posters and advertisements.

It is also important to note that the growth of ultra-fast versions of short video apps, such as Douyin and Kuaishou, poses a threat to Tencent Video.

According to the financial report of Tencent Holdings in 2020, the number of paying users of Tencent Video has reached 123 million. However, its financial report for that year showed that Tencent Video suffered a loss of nearly 3 billion yuan ($465 million), perhaps because of its high cost, single operation mode, loss of members and less original and high-quality content, analysts noted.

Pianduoduo can be regarded as an ultra-fast version of Tencent Video. By removing unnecessary modules, the app is suitable for people who do not have high demands in terms of phone configuration and pursue simple user interfaces.

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Being familiar with the tactic of attracting more users by offering rewards, Chinese netizens are wondering whether this service, too, will charge membership fees in the future.