Bilibili, a Streaming Platform Favored by China's Gen-Z, Lands in Southeast Asia

December 30, 2020 3:12 am

Beijing (PingWest)—Bilibili, a Chinese video-sharing website themed around animation, comics, and games (ACG), has launched localized services in Thailand and Malaysia, tech news outlet Zhixiang reported.

The Thai version of Bilibili positions itself mainly as a site for watching anime. It was updated on December 17 and has racked up more than 1,000,000 installs so far, the app’s page in the Google Play store shows.

“The app is the official Bilibili standalone application in Southeast Asia. We aim to provide local users with a comprehensive video community with high-quality anime, comic, and games (ACG) content,” a Bilibili spokesperson said.

A Facebook page titled “Bilibili Thailand” was created on November 17. “Bilibili is the leading anime community in Generation Z! Watch for free! The hottest anime series with real-time updates, correct language, and more!” reads the first post.

Accordin to Zhixiang, Bilibili also went online in Malaysia recently, although a public version is not available yet.

Bilibili is not the only Chinese video platform trying to expand into the Southeast Asian market. According to Nikkei Asia, Tencent’s international streaming service WeTV was rolled out in Thailand last year.

In June, Tencent acquired Malaysia's streaming service iflix, which has 25 million active users in 13 countries/regions including Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, and Malaysia. The Chinese tech giant said that this move will "further extend our presence in the video streaming industry across Southeast Asia.”

Baidu-backed iQiyi’s international version started services in Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Laos in 2019. The streaming platform has a goal to have as many as half of its subscribers from overseas markets within five years, iQiyi CEO and founder Gong Yu told Reuters in late 2019.

According to the Q3 financial report, Bilibili's revenue increased by 74% year-on-year, far exceeding market expectations. Meanwhile, average monthly active users (MAUs) reached 197.2 million, and mobile MAUs reached 183.5 million, representing increases of 54% and 61%, respectively, from the same period in 2019. Year-to-date, shares of the Nasdaq-listed company have risen over 300%.