TikTok rival Kuaishou on Wednesday said that it will invest 3 billion yuan ($424 million) to build a livestreaming e-commerce base in the western Chinese city of Chengdu, the latest sign that the video-sharing platform is increasing its bet on a sector that has taken off during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Beijing-based Kuaishou aims to build the Chengdu base into a home for “multi-channel networks (MCNs), online celebrities and brand owners” as part of its broader plans to create a livestreaming e-commerce ecosystem, the company’s senior vice president Yu Haibo said in a statement.
MCNs refer to organizations that affiliate with video platforms to offer services including audience development, content programming, content creator cooperation, digital rights management and sales.
The base will be located in Chengdu High-Tech Industrial Development Zone, which plays a key role in the city’s efforts to accelerate the development of digital infrastructure projects related to artificial intelligence (AI), big data, 5G networks and the industrial internet, Kuaishou said.
The announcement comes a month after Kuaishou signed a deal with JD.com to let its users directly buy products from the e-commerce platform within the Kuaishou app. That agreement also enabled Kuaishou’s “key opinion leaders” (KOLs) to choose and promote JD.com products to their audiences through livestreams during this month’s “618” sales promotion.
Since the coronavirus outbreak began in late January, many physical store operators have turned to widely used short-video platforms to sell their products via livestreams. As well as regular merchants, Kuaishou has drawn attention from prestigious Chinese entrepreneurs including Gree chairwoman Dong Mingzhu and NetEase founder Ding Lei, who have conducted e-commerce livestreams on the platform.
– This article originally appeared on Caixin Global.