Kuaishou putting spotlight on the 80 percent

By Guo Jing
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail China.org.cn, May 15, 2017
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"Why do I find Kuaishou boring and quite tasteless?" Zeng Guangming, the vice president of Kuaishou was once asked by a young man during a speech.

MC Tianyou during one of his shows.

MC Tianyou during one of his shows.

"You don't understand Kuaishou because you don't understand China," Zeng replied.

Kuaishou is a Chinese video sharing and live-streaming app with 400 million users, about half of whom have uploaded videos or live streamed at least once. It is one of China's most popular apps. What makes it special is its grassroots user base –construction workers, small town teenagers, young farmers. The massive amount of videos they are generating feature teenage moms, drunkards fighting and smashing cars, men and women eating light bulbs and worms, teenagers lighting firecrackers under their crotches and all kinds of other weird things. Kuaishou recently received a $350 million investment from heavyweight investors like Tencent, DCM and Sequoia.

According to Zeng, the majority of internet products and services are aimed at income bracket of the top 20 percent, and most businesses have little motivation to serve the bottom 80 percent because of their relatively low purchasing power per capita. However, it is the lower 80 percent that is uploading the six million videos and pictures to Kuaishou daily. From such a massive source, some Kuaishou celebrities have emerged.

Among such celebrities, MC Tianyou is the undisputed king. Tianyou was just another young gamer and ex-school bully, loafing around on the street, until his Hanmai songs became massive hits. Hanmai translates literally as "shouting into the microphone" and that is precisely what it is. It is like rap but rappers call it artless; it is like slam poetry but with the beats of crude disco music, minus the poetry. In his claim to fame hit Women Listen Up, MC Tianyou's words hit home with many Kuaishou users. In the song he says, "In this society many women ask me for a house and a car. But do you deserve it? You went to elite schools? You got the looks? How many women still know how to cook? This one goes out to those women who betrayed men for money. Hope you cherish what you call true love."

On too many social, video or live-streaming platforms, a pretty face counts. On Kuaishou, it is the common folks doing ordinary jobs that are talking and being talked about. "Celebrities write books and get interviewed. Throughout history, being recorded has been a privilege of the few. Our dream is for everyone to be able to leave their marks," said Su Hua, CEO of Kuaishou.

Kuaishou is not all about attention-seeking.

There's a uremic patient living in a remote town without the medical facilities of big cities. He live streamed himself receiving treatment every day, an eternal smile on his face. This earned him donation towards his hospital bills from people watching the video.


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