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Kuaishou, Douyin, Two Chinese Short-Video Giants Consider Hong Kong IPO

October 28, 2020 1:32 am

Beijing (PingWest)—Kuaishou and Douyin, the two most popular short video apps in China, are planning initial public offerings to raise billions of dollars in Hong Kong.

ByteDance, the parent of TikTok and its Chinese version Douyin, is considering listing its Douyin unit in Hong Kong in the first half of 2021, news outlet Caixin reported, citing people familiar with the matter. The offering size was not disclosed.

Kuaishou, backed by Chinese gaming giant Tencent, is also reportedly preparing to list in Hong Kong in early 2021. It is said that the company intends to raise $5 billion from the IPO, given its estimated valuation of $50 billion.

In China, Douyin has ousted Kuaishou as the No. 1 short-video app even though Kuaishou, founded in 2012, is four years older. Kuaishou surpassed 300 million daily active users in February; in August, Douyin reached 600 million daily active users.

Unlike Douyin, which has seized many urban users, Kuaishou is relatively more popular in China's lower-tier cities and rural areas. In order to narrow the gap with ByteDance, Kuaishou is expanding global markets under the brand Kwai.

The two companies are aggressively boosting their e-commerce business. Douyin has signed a partnership with Alibaba, while Kuaishou has cooperated with JD.com, China’s second-largest e-tailer. Meanwhile, the two short-video players are also building their own online shopping platforms, encouraging sellers to join in.