Kuaishou and Douyin vie for users as short-form video war heats up

Written by Robert Published on 

Kuaishou wants to reach 300 million DAUs by 2020.

China’s two most popular short video apps are in a race to draw eyeballs as their user bases overlap more and more.

According to tech-focused outlet Late Post, Kuaishou had 210 million daily active users (DAUs) in May, while Douyin, the mainland’s biggest social video app, had around 300 million DAUs.

Last week, Kuaishou’s CEO Su Hua released an internal memo rallying his employees to target 300 million DAUs by the end of the year, and the company adjusted its regular working hours to 12-hour days starting from 9:30 AM.

Both companies generated around RMB 20 billion (USD 2.9 billion) last year, with Douyin just edging above Kuaishou, per Late Post. Kuaishou was separately reported last month to be targeting RMB 30 billion (USD 4.36 billion) in revenue, as well as profitability, this year.

Whereas Kuaishou’s earnings come largely from virtual gifts inside live broadcasts on its platform, Douyin predominantly leans on advertising revenue. In May, Kuaishou earned about RMB 3 billion (USD 440 million) from virtual gifts alone. Douyin, on the other hand, made less than RMB 400 million (USD 58 million) from the same revenue stream, and about RMB 2.6 billion (USD 380 million) from ads.

Video-based e-commerce is shaping up to be the next revenue battleground for these two companies.

Douyin started by integrating links to Taobao items in its videos last June. More recently, the social video app rolled out a dedicated “Products” category in its search bar that connects with all the e-commerce platforms inside its mini-program ecosystem.

Kuaishou, meanwhile, made a big move last week by tying up with and Pinduoduo via affiliate marketing links. All three companies are backed by Tencent.


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