Short video app Kuaishou on Wednesday announced its plans for the 2020 Spring Festival Gala, including RMB 1.1 billion (about $143 million) worth of cash giveaways and 666 warm-up events. The Spring Festival Gala is an annual TV event held by China Central Television (CCTV). In 2019, more than 1.17 billion viewers tuned in.  The Gala will be held on Jan. 24 2020.

Why it matters: Kuaishou is betting on one of the most viewed shows in China to narrow the close to 100 million daily active users (DAU) gap between itself and Douyin.

  • Kuaishou only lagged behind Douyin’s 150 million DAUs by 15 million in February 2019. The gap soon inflated to 100 million in June, with Douyin reporting 320 million DAUs and Kuaishou reporting 200 million DAUs the month before.
  • In June, Kuaishou announced its plan to boost its DAUs to 300 million before the Spring Festival. This was later broken down into having a peak DAU of 300 million before the holiday and reaching an average DAU of 300 million three months after the holiday.

Details: In addition to spending RMB 1 billion on Spring Festival hongbao, the short video app would also give away RMB 100 million in a prize money raffle.

  • The company will hold 666 online warm-up events for the Spring Festival Gala, starting from Jan. 1, 2020. The events will be categorized into six themes such as “upvoting the real China” and “upvoting our lives.”
  • Kuaishou secured the position as the exclusive interactive partner for the Spring Festival Gala in August. They beat heavyweight competitors such as search giant Baidu, as well as e-commerce platforms Alibaba and Pinduoduo.
  • In 2019, the total viewership of the Spring Festival Gala reached 1.17 billion.

Context: A number of Chinese state media have registered official accounts on the platform, including Xinhua News and CCTV’s most-watched program “Xinwen Lianbo.”

  • The first Kuaishou video of “Xinwen Lianbo” surpassed 100 million views in less than 24 hours.

Tony Xu

Tony Xu is Shanghai-based tech reporter. Connect with him via e-mail: tony.xu@technode.com

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