TikTok Rival Kuaishou Reported to Integrate Overseas Business: Kwai to be Only International Version

Chinese media outlet LatePost reported on Tuesday that Kuaishou Technology, developer of the world-famous short-video sharing mobile app Kuaishou, has recently made a major adjustment to its overseas business. The core idea is to merge its three products into one and improve their overall efficiency.

In August, 2021, Kuaishou’s Internationalization Division launched a product merger action codenamed “Trinity”, and planned to integrate their products previously released overseas by the company into Kwai.

According to the report, Kwai’s product form and interface design are basically the same as that of Kuaishou running in the Chinese Mainland. In the future, Kwai will be the only overseas product of Kuaishou.

In addition, in terms of organizational structure, Kuaishou’s overseas business is changing its previous model of setting up independent product teams for different countries, regions and markets.

At present, Kwai is building two unified middle platforms that will be responsible for products and operations. Shao Kai, former head of Kwai’s Latin American market, has reportedly been appointed as the head of the overseas operations of Kwai. Xu Zhiwei, former head of Kwai’s Middle East market, has said to become the head of Kuai products. They will all report to Qiu Guangyu, Head of International Business at Kuaishou Technology.

This adjustment also means that Kuaishou has given up its overseas expansion path of “exploring different markets with multiple teams and products”. The new idea is closer to TikTok, a leading short-video sharing mobile product owned by ByteDance.

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At the same time, Kuaishou is also making adjustments in its overseas market expansion strategy.

According to the report, several sources said that Kuaishou has spent more than 5.5 billion yuan ($860.5 million) in overseas markets in the first half of this year. However, in the second half of the year, the original plan to enter the American and Canadian markets was temporarily suspended.

In the Southeast Asian regions, Latin America regions, South Korean and Russian, where it has entered, Kuaishou’s current focus has shifted from acquiring new users to retaining old users by refining its operations. An individual involved in Kuaishou’s overseas projects said that the team has realized that it is too inefficient to spread money on such a large scale in an effort to expand its market share as in the past.

The above-mentioned person added, Kuaishou is also facing competitive pressure in China, while the growth and retention of users and e-commerce business all need greater investment, which is also affecting Kuaishou’s overseas expansion strategy.

Kuaishou international business was established for the first time in 2017, with Kwai as its core product, focusing on Brazil, Indonesia, Russia, and South Korea. Half a year later, Kuaishou set up a new team codenamed “KT”, and developed a new product called Snack Video which was responsible for the Southeast Asian market. In May 2020, Kuaishou launched Zynn for the North American market again.

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Since March 2021, Qiu Guangyu, former Vice President of Chinese transportation giant Didi, joined Kuaishou and became its overseas head. The Internationalization Division of Kuaishou led by him began to discuss the integration of the three products. According to LatePost, after the integration, the three products will share user accounts and video content.

The report also mentions that an analyst who has been paying attention to the short video space for a long time believes that Kuaishou’s effort to combine short videos from different markets can enrich the product’s overall content. Users in different markets all have different consumption habits, which can be solved by improving the accuracy of content recommendations.

Brazil is the most mature market for Kuaishou at present. LatePost learned that Kuaishou will try to sell advertisements in Brazil in the fourth quarter, while for markets in Southeast Asia and the Middle East the company will try to reward live-streaming more.