The Live Streaming Market in China 2020

In recent China, the live-streaming market is gaining great popularity among both the youth and the aged. According to data from China Internet Network Information Center, as of March 2020, the number of live-stream users in the country has reached 560 million, an increase of 163 million from the end of 2018, accounting for 62.0% of the total netizens. Tipping while watching live-streaming content is a common practice among teenagers in China. In the light of market research published on Statista, the market size of online live-streaming in China will reach around 16.3 billion U.S. dollars in 2020.

The online live-streaming market size in China – Statista

Live-streaming contents types that work in China

Even though the platforms and content details are different, live-streams in China can be classified into the following main types:

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  • E-commerce live streams;
  • Video game live streams;
  • Reality live streams;
  • Sports live streams;
  • Live concert.

From the perspective of content categories, e-commerce live streams are booming. Although the user scale of traditional live streams such as reality show live streams and game live streams have slowed down, the rise of e-commerce live streams has injected new vitality into the overall growth of the industry, enriching the content and monetization methods of the live-streaming industry.

Chinese tech giants put a finger on the live-streaming pie

Since live-streaming e-commerce has brought great fortune, China’s giant e-commerce platforms such as Alibaba,, and Pinduoduo have stepped into this field one after another, integrating physical commodity transactions with interactive live streams, enhancing user consumption experience and stickiness.

In addition, e-commerce live streams have stimulated the sales of agricultural products and provided strong support for poverty-stricken areas to get rid of poverty.

In July 2019, Zhejiang Province and Alibaba Group organized the “E-commerce Poverty Alleviation” activity. 12 cadres along with KOLs jointly promoted the hometown’s agricultural specialties. The total sales of this campaign have exceeded 10 million yuan in only three hours.

Top 3 live-streaming platforms in China

There are many different live-streaming contents, but the differences between certain platforms are getting smaller and smaller. Here is a list of the top 5 live-streaming platforms in China.

No.3 –, Tencent live streaming Champion?

Live streaming china - douyu
Douyu live-streaming platform

DouYu, literally translated into “Fighting Fish”, is a live-streaming platform developed by DouYu TV and was launched in 2014. DouYu, the largest game-streaming platform in China, with 163.6 million monthly active users in 2019.

In 2018 the advertisement on Douyu generated $73 million in revenues. The Chinese tech giant Tencent owns about 37% of the shares. In March 2019, Panda TV, which was once a big rival for Douyu, announced bankruptcy and liquidation. The Chinese live broadcast market began to form an era dominated by well-known platforms like Douyu and Huya.

Panda TV out of service page

For a long time, the two major live-streaming platforms – Douyu and Huya have been constantly competing for the position of the “first game live-streaming platform”. However, even though Huya Live was the first to go public, its development speed is not as fast as Douyu and now Douyu has surpassed Huya, occupying third place.

According to researches, Douyu is significantly better than other live-streaming platforms in terms of active users and it also has a large number of loyal fans that other platforms do not have.

No.2 – Kuaishou Video (The dark horse)

Kuaishou Video, literally “quick hand” in English, is a Chinese video-sharing mobile app, first launched in 2011 and developed by Beijing Kuaishou Technology Co., Ltd. Kuaishou has a  strong user base among users outside of China’s Tier 1 cities.

In May 2019, KuaiShou has exceeded 400 million MAU and has more than 1.3 billion pieces of original content on the platform.

chinese social media - kuaishou short video live streaming app
Kuaishou website landing page

It is an app not only popular in Mainland China, but it has also gained considerable popularity in overseas markets, topping the Google Play and Apple App Store’s “Most Downloaded” lists in eight countries.

The main competitor of Kuaishou is Douyin, which is known as TikTok outside of China. Kuaishou has a high consumer retention rate and Kuaishou’s e-commerce marketing is of great value and has been recognized by various industries in 2019.

No.1 – Douyin (TicTok) the China king of live-streaming?

The first place of the Chinese live-streaming app should come as no surprise to many – Douyin (TikTok as it is known in other countries). It is in essence a short video-sharing platform. It is owned by ByteDance, one of the Chinese leading tech roles.

chinese social media - short video live streaming app douyin
Douyin website landing page

As of July 2020, in only fours years, TikTok, excluding Douyin, reported close to 700 million users worldwide and as of April 2020, Douyin (in China) reported around 500 million monthly active users.

Douyin is a clear leader in the live-streaming app market with advanced functions and algorithms to cater precisely to the different interests of users.

Conclusion on china Live Streaming Market :

Since 2020, the live-streaming industry has had great opportunities for development, especially during the COVID-19. According to data released by the China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC), as of March 2020, the number of live-streaming users in the country has reached 560 million, an increase of 163 million from the end of 2018, accounting for 62.0% of the total number of Internet users.

Livestreaming becomes a new place for brands to communicate with the Chinese public. When brands plan to launch live broadcast campaigns in China, the first step is to choose the platform that has the features or features you are looking for. 


We are an E-Commerce and Marketing Agency specialized in the Chinese market, and we can offer you cost-efficient KOL and live-streaming strategies to boost your sales. 

If you have a project and need help, contact us, we will help you succeed!

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  1. As Chinese citizens were invited to stay at home during the Chinese Lunar New Year, a large number of cosmetic enthusiasts had to rely on online shopping activities and KOLs (Livestreaming KOL) to stay well informed during the purchase of care and make-up products.

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