Kuaishou, ByteDance’s strongest competitor in the short video sector, is seeking an initial public offering (IPO) in Hong Kong as early as this year, at a time when its rival is feeling pressure from the US government over the sale of TikTok, the Information reported on Wednesday, citing sources.
The startup, which was founded in 2011 as a GIF tool, has grown to become the second-largest short video and livestreaming platform in China with more than 300 million daily active users, and ventured into fields such as e-commerce, esports, and education. Its valuation reached USD 28 billion after a USD 3 billion financing round in December led by Tencent.
Kuaishou’s backers further include Morningside Venture Capital, Sequoia Capital China, DCM Capital, Temasek, and Lighthouse Capital. According to the Information, Kuaishou aims for a valuation of USD 50 billion in the planned IPO. Thanks to the popularity of livestreaming e-commerce, online shopping orders generated on the platform exceeded 500 million in August, making it the fourth-largest e-commerce platform in China by total order volume in the past 12 months.
For this year, the firm targets annual sales from e-commerce of USD 37 billion, ahead of Douyin’s projection of USD 29 billion and behind Taobao’s USD 74 billion. Kuaishou further announced that it plans to incubate 100,000 businesses helping them achieve RMB 1 million (USD 146,000) in annual sales.