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Video site Bilibili planning US offering

By Ouyang Shijia | China Daily | Updated: 2017-10-11 07:11
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Chinese popular video-sharing site Bilibili, which boasts the largest group of young Chinese fans for anime, comics and gaming, is reportedly planning an initial public offering in the United States that could raise at least $200 million.

Bloomberg reported on Tuesday, citing unnamed sources, that the company intends to list in New York as soon as next year. Bilibili declined to comment on the matter on Tuesday.

Unlike traditional video sites, such as Youku and iQiyi, the new type of business powered by video streaming sites Bilibili and AcFun attracts more young fans, especially millennials.

Bilibili's website and app features more youthful content and offer abundant features to attract younger audiences, such as providing bullet screen function to allow real-time comments to shoot across the whole screen.

"For me, Bilibili is more than a normal online video website. Actually, it offers a public space for us to share opinions, discuss and comment on the same topics," said Li Jinlin, a 23-year-old college student based in Guangdong province.

"I love the bullet screen mechanism," she added. "I really like reading snarky remarks on the characters and plot progression. I always watch the video with the function on to see what others say on the screen. And the real-time comments make me feel like we're getting together and entertaining each other."

Founded in 2009, Bilibili now has more than 150 million active users, of which 75 percent are under 24 years old. According to Bilibili, the average age of the users is 17. Around 70 percent of the views on the platform are from the user-generated content.

Ma Shicong, an analyst at Beijing-based internet consultancy Analysys, said Bilibili appeals to younger people seeking more forms of entertainment.

"Starting as a fan site for ACG, the platform is expanding to cover more content to reach a broader audience base."

"In China, the ACG fans are mainly millennials, and the ranks are swelling. And so is Bilibili's social influence, as it represents the taste of the younger generation. Now its revenues come from not only the paid membership but more sources including the offline anime convention and investment in gaming."

So far, Bilibili has raised tens of millions of dollars, including over 100 million yuan ($15.2 million) in the latest D round of funding in 2015.

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