Home / Business / Companies

Tencent eyeing livestreaming edge with more investments

By Chai Hua in Shenzhen, Guangdong | China Daily | Updated: 2018-03-10 09:40

Internet giant Tencent Holdings Ltd is looking to establish a clear lead over rivals in China's livestreaming market with latest investments of over $1 billion in the industry's top firms.

YY Inc, a leading livestreaming social media platform in China, on Thursday announced that its subsidiary Huya Inc has secured series B financing from Tencent to the tune of $461.6 million.

Though YY has a controlling stake in Huya, Tencent has got approval for purchase of additional Huya shares at fair market price to gain 50.1 percent of the voting power in Huya.

Earlier on the same day, Wuhan Douyu Network Technology Co Ltd, one of the biggest competitors of Huya, revealed its latest round of fundraising is also from Tencent and the amount is $630 million. Douyu went online in 2014 and Tencent has participated its series B and C rounds of financing, which totals to 1.6 billion yuan ($252 million), but it is the first time that the technology firm is supporting Huya.

The livestreaming market is booming in China. Data from China Internet Network Information Center show that the industry's user base was 422 million by the end of last year and that for video game content is 224 million, up 50 percent from the numbers in 2016.

Huya and Douyu are the top two firms in terms of market penetration rate and daily active user volume, according to Shenzhen-based big data service provider Jiguang.

The two platforms account for 50 percent of the market share and the situation will be stable for a long time. Tencent's investment into the firms could "make the company become the dominant player in the livestreaming market, like it is in the video game market," Dong Zhen, an analyst with domestic consulting company Analysys, told China Daily.

He added these platforms could also bring in new users to Tencent's gaming products, further strengthening its position in the gaming sector.

Liu Jiehao, an analyst with research firm iiMedia Research, said Tencent's investment will bear fruit soon as Huya and Douyu are both planning to go public this year. Their estimated value is reportedly about $2 billion each.

He believes "the key to win the competition in livestreaming platforms is quality and quantity of celebrity hosts," a resource that needs large capital support. "So the Tencent investment is significant for Huya's and Douyu's development."

Tencent will have a powerful impact in the livestreaming market in the short term, he said, but it is hard to say if other internet giants would utilize the same method to snatch celebrity hosts and rise rapidly.

In addition, he noted that another risk is that the government has been tightening policy supervision on the industry lately, so healthy content appears to be important. Technology information provider TMTpost said about 70 livestreaming platforms have been shut down in the first half of 2017.

Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349