What is Kuaishou? Get to know China´s popular Short Video APP

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Tiktok has become a global phenomenon by taking the market by storm with its innovative way of sharing short videos. However, in China, Douyin (Tiktok) is not the only short video app which is popular, Kuaishou has its own share and is considered as successful as Douyin. This article introduces Kuaishou and explains how to market you brand in the platform.


  1. Kuaishou is not a Tiktok clone in China


When people talk about Kuaishou, they may first think about Tiktok, as the two re the most popular short video apps in the Chinese market. It feel like they are “twin brothers” with similar user interface and experience Therefore people often say Kuaishou is another Tiktok in China.


Main interface for Kuaishou (Right) and Tiktok (Left)


Although the two apps are very similar in “appearance”, after a closer study, we find kuaishou is quite different from Tiktok in terms of business model and strategy. One of the most prominent divergence is its “community model”.


As the world’s largest short video sharing community, Kuaishou’s business model is based on “social acquaintances”. Quickly, user groups are distributed in second, third-tier cities and rural areas, due to the particularity of each geographic area. When compared to other video sharing apps, the social relationship between users tend to be more complex and correlated, therefore short videos are easily broadcasted to the network through the group´s timeline, fact which increase the engagement rate and influence.


Kuaishou, Kuaishou’s DAU’s geographical distribution (2019)


Kuaishou’s “community model” has built a strong user base, and it differentiate its user experience from Tiktok. In the first three quarters of 2020, Kuaishou had 305 million daily active users and 769 million monthly active users with an Year-on-year growth of 41.5%.


Kuaishou’s Daily Active Users Growth



  1. As a short video platform, what are the reasons for the of Kuaishou’s rapid grow?


Besides the two characteristics above mentioned, there are 2 other points to notice.  Kuaishou’s users are very young: According to a 2019 report by Kuaishou, more than 70% of Kuaishou’s users are under 30 years old. Its users may spend more than 86 minutes per day on Kuaishou.


Source: Talking Data


The reason why Kuaishou has such a high-quality user group is not only the result of it’s the unique user experience but also closely related to the rapid development of live-streaming in recent years.


With the development of technology, especially communication technology, live streaming has become one of the hottest businesses in the Chinese market in recent years, and Kuaishou is no exception. Kuaishou launched its live streaming service in 2016 and officially launched its e-Commerce service in 2018.

Short video sharing, live streaming, and e-Commerce service made Kuaishou meet the needs of a richer and more diversified market: Users can not only watch interesting and diverse short video content on Kuaishou, but also communicate and interact with their favorite hosts through live streaming. Meanwhile, hosts can guide users to place orders directly through an e-Commerce service, realizing efficient and direct conversions.



  1. What can brands do with Kuaishou?


Since COVID-19, digital business models based on online sales have grown into a new economic growth hot spot for brands in China, which is known as the new business model.


At Kuaishou, there is more room to work with the new business model: the first is the short video sharing model rooted in Kuaishou’s foundation. On Kuaishou, companies can promote their products, raise brand awareness and interact directly with fans by opening corporate accounts and sharing videos of their products.



Creative content sharing, including Short videos and Live streaming, can generate widespread attention and discussion for brands, and become the foundation for brands to reach their target audiences.


The second is advertising. At Kuaishou, brand accounts can increase exposure and traffic through paid advertising. There are two forms of Kuaishou advertising: banner images and short videos. It also provides different types of advertising modes for different groups including gender, age, location, interest and behavior. Users can click on the ads on the display page, news feed, and discovery page to go to the Official Account page displayed by the brand or watch a product video,  visit a Website and see a live streaming.


Finally, Kuaishou’s e-Commerce service is the last closed loop for brands to promote, share, and sell their products. In China, as more people engage on live Streaming/Short video+shopping, Kuaishou has collaborated with several e-commerce platforms, including JD, Tmall, and Pinduoduo, to help brands promote and sell across platforms by creating a more concise, direct business model.


  1. The difference between Kuaishou and Tiktok?


As the two largest short video apps in China, Kuaishou and Tiktok are often compared in many ways. For example, Kuaishou has about 300m daily active users, while Douyin has 400m. The difference in user activity between Tiktok and Kuaishou mainly comes from different user structures: 24% of Douyin users live in first-tier cities, while kuaishou users are mostly in second – and third-tier cities.


Tik Tok users in different cities, most of them lives in the new 1st tier cities – Source:巨量算数


Kuaishou’s users in different cities. – Source: Talking Data




The difference in user group structure not only affects the its daily activity, but also makes a difference in the content direction of the two apps. Kuaishou users are inter connected, they pay more attention to life-related content, such as food and customs of different regions, compared to Tiktok users who pay more attention to fashion and fashion-related content.


Source: Talking Data


The differentiation of content and group structure also further affects the usage habits on the platform. Kuaishou’s e-commerce conversion rate is 5-10 times higher than Douyin’s because of the intimate and passionate communication atmosphere among users, which makes it easier for users to sell products.

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