What happened: Chinese microblogging platform Weibo will invest RMB 2 billion (around $300 million) in the next two years to support content-driven e-commerce, key opinion leaders (KOLs), actors, and agencies. The move comes amid growth in the platform’s active content creators, with more than 50,000 KOLs having in excess of 500,000 followers each. The company claims that content creators on Weibo made RMB 27 billion in 2018, most of which came from e-commerce sales.
Why it’s important: Content-driven e-commerce is big business in China. Entertainment platforms have attempted to retain their users by including e-commerce features in their platforms. On Monday, short video app Kuaishou upgraded its e-commerce services, partnering with online marketplace giants Taobao and Tmall. It also improved the functionality of its online store. Longer form video platforms also aren’t missing out. Video streaming service Bilibili partnered with Taobao to connect content creators with users while promoting merchandise through interactive content.