What happened: Three in four Chinese internet users access short video apps, according to data from the 43rd Internet Development Report released by the China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC) on Thursday. Mobile users playing online video games continued to rise in 2018, though growth is slowing: mobile online game players rose 12.7% year-on-year in 2018 compared with 15.8% in 2017. However, the number of readers who access literature on mobile devices picked up in 2018 to 19.4% year-on-year compared with 13.1% in 2017, and now comprise half of Chinese internet users.
Why it’s important: Short video has been one of the fastest growing internet segments in China, adding 50 million more users than it did in June 2018. The fact that it wasn’t even in CNNIC’s 2017 report underscores the pace at which short video apps such as Douyin and Kuaishou have been expanding. Sexually explicit and lowbrow content, however, have resulted in frequent government crackdowns and public outrage. Meanwhile a freeze on monetization approvals, which lasted from March to December last year, weighed heavily on growth for the video game segment in 2018.