What happened: Taobao has launched a standalone short video app—called Lu Ke—allowing users to show off the goods they have bought on the platform. The app lets consumers post videos in various categories including travel, food, and beauty. It also includes a question and answer feature. Most importantly, product listings can be added to videos, allowing users to buy the merchandise once they have viewed it.
Why it’s important: In China, the lines are being blurred between social media and e-commerce platforms. Taobao is monopolizing on the popularity of short video apps and including social features that allow users themselves to promote sales. While the platform has been experimenting with video for some time in the form of live streaming and short videos, this is its first standalone video app.