China's Vskit video app thrills African youths

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, September 4, 2019
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Vskit is addictive, and "I cannot stop using it," said Kenyan Claire Fenty, referring to a Chinese-developed app specializing in African short-video sharing.

Since its launch in 2018, the app, designed by Transsnet, a joint venture between two Chinese tech giants, has attracted more than 12 million subscribers most of whom are in sub-Saharan Africa.

Like many active young users, Fenty said she uses Viskit for hours a day.

"When there is a good location, there is enough light and I see something interesting," she said, then "I want to upload to my Viskit at that time."

According to the app's developer, the name is composed of "V" meaning video and victory, and "Skit" meaning a short dramatic piece done by amateurs.

Lin Minqi, Vskit's head of overseas business, said he believes an innate musical talent is widespread in Africa.

"Many people here like to express themselves in front of the camera by singing and dancing, which is an ideal cultural foundation for creating short videos in Africa," he added.

According to him, the company attaches great importance to "content localization" and has set up a creative team of local employees to localize the content of short videos.

"Our team discusses interesting ways of short video shooting, then we reinterpret them in local languages and perspectives, to finally produce interesting clips that are specific to the local taste," Lin added.

The team's efforts have proven effective. "I like Viskit," Fenty said, "because it gives you a chance to showcase your creativity and you also get to learn from the people there."

Kenhillary Owuor, a 24-year-old celebrity on Vskit, said, "Viskit is an amazing app because of a lot of things that it involves, like a range of ages and a range of talent."

In recent years, China-Africa cooperation has boomed, with a number of Chinese companies setting up shop in Africa, bolstering people-to-people ties.

African experts have said such platforms as Vskit can not only help the Chinese to better understand African customs, but give African culture an opportunity to shine around the world.

"When I'm tired, I'll check comedy videos (on Vskit), which are good for entertainment and relaxing," Owuor said. "I think people should use Viskit." 

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