China’s live streaming service goes viral in 2016. The heydays of the flourishing vertical arrive in the first half of this year. Back then, there were more than 300 live streaming platforms in the country thanks to abundant capital supports and easy market access.

“It takes only around two days to develop a live streaming app by using the development kits provided by Tencent Cloud or Ali Could,” said Lei Tao, cofounder of Yixia Technology, the company behind China’s top video blogging and live streaming apps of Miaopai, Xiaokaxiu and Yizhibo.

Despite the growth, there’re also concerns that a bubble is formed around the industry. Several industry insiders predicted that the sector is going to be consolidated as half the players going to breathe their last within one year.

“For all the platforms that follow the live streaming craze blindly, most of them will die within six months at the most. I don’t think it’s an industry reshuffle, because such services didn’t stand a chance in the first place.” Lei commented.

The real battle in live steaming sector has just begun for most of the platforms are focused on music, dancing or talent shows. “This kind of performance should account for only a small portion of the contents. There is ample room for integrating with education, finance, healthcare and sports industries. They are the future development directions of this industry,” he believes.

Live streaming platforms have voracious appetites for cash. As of present, only one company booked profits while most of the players are still burning cash.

But Lei thinks it’s still early to eye for profits. “It’s determined by the development stage of the whole industry. To pursuit profits too early may bring negative impacts on the long-term prospects of the platform,” he said. “China’s mobile live streaming industry is now comparable to short video market in 2001 or 2002, when 3G network has just become popularized and a small group of users are freed from the constraint of traffic costs.”

“Most users won’t watch live streaming contents under 4G network because it’s too pricy. Commercialization moves won’t be successful when user demands are not fully unleashed.”

Emma Lee (Li Xin) was TechNode's e-commerce and new retail reporter until June 2022, when she moved to Sixth Tone to cover technology and consumption. Get in touch with her via or Twitter.