What do you know about the major Chinese online video platforms? What are the biggest short video platforms in China ? Where do C-biz fangirls go for music streaming?
- 1 Five Major Online Video Platforms
- 2 Two Major Short Video Streaming Platforms
- 3 Four Major Music Streaming Platforms
Five Major Online Video Platforms
Tencent Video was launched in 2011 by China’s tech conglomerate Tencent and is now one of the biggest online video platforms in China. Tencent Video launched its international version, WeTV, in 2018.
Tencent, not exclusive to Tencent Video, is given the nickname “Goose” by netizens because of its icon, a penguin. In Chinese, penguin (企鹅) literally means “a goose that stands on its tip-toe.”
iQiyi is backed by Baidu, the tech giant behind China’s Google. iQiyi launched its global version in 2019 and opened a Singapore office dedicated to serving SEA regions in 2020.
iQiyi is usually referred to as 271 because i-qi-yi sounds similar to the number 2,7,1 /er, qi, yi/ in Chinese. The platform also has several popular nicknames given by citizens like kiwi and peach. Qi-yi sounds like 奇异果 /qiyi guo/ which is kiwifruit in Chinese. Kiwifruit has another name 猕猴桃 /mi hou tao/, and 桃 /tao/ means peach in Chinese.
Youku and Tudou, two of China’s top online video platforms, announced their merge in 2012 before being acquired by Alibaba Group in 2015.
Youku (优酷) literally means “excellent and cool” in Chinese, but it sounds just similar to 裤子 /ku zi/ which means “pant.” It’s the origin of the nickname “pant” that citizens give to the platform.
Mango TV is the only online video platform under Hunan Broadcasting System which owns the nationwide channel Hunan TV. Besides its own video contents, Mango TV has all other copyright works from Hunan Broadcasting System. Mango TV has developed multi-language and global-accessible functionalities on its website and mobile app.
Mango TV’s satellite TV sister – Hunan TV – is also referred to as Mango TV, but they are two different things, and people are confused most of the time.
Different from the above platforms, Bilibili is known mostly for its anime shows, games, and user-generated content. Bilibili is a forum for youth subculture and the closest to China’s YouTube. It’s easy to find loads of elaborate films, music, and spectacular fan-made videos here.
Bilibili is usually referred to by citizens as B Site (B站). The platform is backed by both Alibaba and Tencent.
Two Major Short Video Streaming Platforms
Douyin is China’s counterpart to its international version, TikTok. First launched by ByteDance in 2016, Douyin went viral within a few years with its powerful recommendation algorithm and funny short videos. Because of its strength in the music segment, its viral effect is extremely good for musicians to market their music to a huge base of users.
Kuaishou is backed by Tencent and is China’s second-largest short video app, second only to Douyin. It is considered as Douyin’s rival in the short video streaming platform category but its targeted users are mostly from lower-tier cities and rural areas. Kuaishou is known overseas as Kwai.
Four Major Music Streaming Platforms
QQ Music is backed by Tencent Music Entertainment Group (TME) and is one of the most popular music streaming platforms in China. The platform owns the copyrights of a large collection of the most mainstream songs thanks to its financial resources. QQ Music expands to multiple music services besides music streaming such as karaoke, music video, live streaming, social media, etc. This is the most popular platform for mainstream pop singers and idols.
NetEase Cloud Music was launched by NetEase in 2013. The platform has a relatively smaller song collection and user base compared to QQ Music. NetEase Cloud Music is well-known for its high-quality music fan communities with many popular thought-provoking music reviews. The platform is also known for its support for the indie genre, great covers, and original music.
Kugou appeared as early as 2004. As of 2020, Kugou still has the biggest monthly active users share but they are mainly in lower-tier cities. The platform was acquired by TME in 2016. Sharing the same music catalog and music services with QQ Music, Kugou focuses on user-generated content, live streaming, and in-app karaoke.
Similar to Kugou, Kuwo is another early music app acquired by TME in 2016. Kuwo and Kugou share many characteristics with a focus on karaoke streaming. Its monthly active users share is relatively smaller.