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China tech

Tencent-backed Kuaishou ups game with new video app

Half of its users are also on rival platform Douyin

Video-streaming app Kuaishou pictured on a mobile phone    © Reuters

BEIJING -- China's second-largest short-video service Kuaishou is finetuning its new app Taizan aimed at a young audience as it gears up to compete with its main rival ByteDance which owns Douyin.

Taizan, released a week ago, is a platform for short videos that recommends Kuaishou's popular clips that allow users to tag others and make comments. Citing people close to the matter, local media TechPlanet wrote that more functions, including the ability to upload user-generated content and direct messaging, could be added to the app.

Eight-year-old Kuaishou's quest for new hits has been a priority since it lifted its 2019 advertisement sales revenue target by 50% to $2.18 billion. The company, backed by Tencent Holdings, also expects to gather 300 million daily active users before the Lunar New Year celebrations in January.

Since 2017, Kuaishou has introduced dozens of apps at a brisk pace, hoping to revitalize weak user growth. These include video editor Kuaiying, photo-editing tool Yitian Camera, and networking app Kuaishou Dianwan. But analysts said that few of them have generated huge traffic.

Earlier in October, the Kuaishou platform had between 200 million and 210 million DAU, roughly the same level as in May, company insiders told 36Kr. Its main rival ByteDance claimed that Douyin already had 320 million DAU in June.

36Kr's research outfit Zhike found that nearly half of the users on both platforms overlapped in May.

Beijing-based Kuaishou is reportedly considering an initial public offering in the U.S. It has benefited from cash injection of more than $1 billion in a pre-IPO round, mainly from Tencent, that values the company at $25 billion.

KrASIA is a digital media company focused on technology-driven businesses and trends across the Asia-Pacific region. It is part of 36Kr, a tech news portal based in Beijing. Nikkei has a minority stake in 36Kr.

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