TikTok's Rival Kuaishou Files for Hong Kong IPO

November 6, 2020 0:42 am

Beijing (PingWest)—Kuaishou, the short-video platform backed by Chinese gaming giant Tencent, submitted the IPO prospectus to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange on the evening of November 5.

According to the prospectus, the company's revenue in the first half of 2020 reached 25.3 billion, a year-on-year increase of 48%.

The company, which claims to be the world's largest live streaming platform in terms of virtual gift rewards and average monthly paying users, suffered a loss in the first half of this year, with an adjusted net loss of 6.3 billion yuan ($953.61 million), while its adjusted net profit in 2017, 2018 and 2019 was 777 million yuan ($117.61 million), 182 million yuan ($27.55 million) and 1.3 billion yuan ($196.78 million), respectively.

Live streaming, online marketing services and other businesses (including e-commerce, online games and value-added services) contribute the major revenue to Kuaishou. The proportion of revenue from live streaming is declining. The prospectus showed that its proportion has shrunk from 95.3% in 2017 to 68.5% in the first half of 2020.

In China, Douyin has ousted Kuaishou as the No. 1 short-video app, even though Kuaishou, founded in 2012, is four years older. The company’s monthly active users topped 776 million, hosting around 1 billion live streaming sessions on its application, Kuaishou said, with a total of 1.63 trillion likes, shares and comments for short videos and live streaming on the platform.

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, Kaishoushou 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, 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.