A recent post on Zhihu, the Quora-like Chinese platform known for its elitist user base, asks: “Why is Kwai so annoying?” Kwai, or Kuaishou (快手) in Chinese, is a short-video social platform dubbed “the app for small-town Chinese” with 150 million monthly active users (MAU), making it one of the top apps of its breed.

“It’s probably the most popular live streaming platform in China at the moment, but also the most vulgar,” writes the user who started the provocative thread with screenshots showing Kwai users eating rats, dancing in skimpy clothes, and other behavior that might be straight-up obscene for the cultivated urbanites. As of now, the question has more than 3.8 million views and over 1,000 replies.

Vulgar or not, Kwai has brought the focal point of city elites to the rarely discussed but colossal population living in China’s lower-tier cities and rural areas.

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Rita Liao

Telling the uncommon China stories through tech. I can be reached at ritacyliao [at] gmail [dot] com.