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As of the end of 2018, 80% of China’s 829m netizens use short video apps, making them even more prevalent than online payment platforms, according to a report from the China Internet Network Information Center.
Short video apps have become an increasingly influential platform for Chinese users. Time spent on these types of apps account for 36% of all time spent on entertainment apps in Q119, compared with 22% in the same period of 2018. Combined average daily active users (DAUs) of short video apps also rose 8% in the past six months, a report from data research firm Jiguang said.
These factors have made short video platforms an ideal place for brands to market their products, especially through key opinion leaders (KOLs). Younger users also tend not to compare product prices on most of these platforms, making monetisation easier, according to an expert.
Hilary Han added, “According to our experience, when we buy, we at least compare a bunch of products. But this is not the behaviour of younger kids. If they trust this KOL, if they can afford this, and this is what they need, they’ll buy it.”
Most of these purchases are from consumers in lower-tier cities, where industry giants like Douyin and Kuaishou are seeing the fastest growth. “In top-tier cities, people have so much information and so many channels to compare. In lower-tier cities the information channels are limited,” Han said.
Short video apps also offered an opportunity for KOLs from lower-tier cities or even rural areas to go viral. “They don’t necessarily have to come to the city anymore,” Maggie Long, a senior researcher at the e-commerce centre of Kuaishou Research Institute, said at the event.
While there are around 181m youth in China who use short video apps, the time they spend on them is reaching saturation, with Chinese netizens spending an average of 4.2 hours on mobile internet per day, a figure that has remained for four consecutive quarters since Q218 second, according to the Jiguang report.