China’s youth-focused video site Bilibili may launch a shopping cart feature in its livestream pages in the coming weeks, Chinese media 36kr reported on Tuesday.

Why it matters: Bilibili is getting serious about livestream e-commerce, hoping to diversify its revenue sources. The firm has previously made a few tentative steps in the area.

  • Compared with market incumbents like Alibaba and Douyin, Bilibili is late to the livestream commerce game, which has seen rapid growth due to the pandemic. The Shanghai-based firm tries to differentiate itself from other platforms by selling products relating to its core content of anime, comics, and games (ACG). 

Details: The video site, listed on both the Nasdaq and Hong Kong exchanges, is talking with several content creators about introducing a shopping cart feature for livestream shopping, 36kr reported, citing people with knowledge of the matter.

  • Similar to the shopping experience offered on Taobao Live and Douyin, users will be able to click into a shopping cart embedded in the livestream interface to browse product listings and place orders.
  • Bilibili will support the livestreamers by allocating more traffic to them. The feature is already in a small-scale test stage, a second source told 36kr. 
  • The feature would offer Bilibili’s content creators a new way to make money from their popularity.
  • In its fourth-anniversary celebration event held in September, Bilibili introduced four content creators selling ACG products such as art toys and costumes during a four-hour livestream. It was viewed as an attempt to try out livestream commerce.
  • Bilibili did not respond to TechNode’s request for comment on Wednesday morning.

Context: Bilibili’s third-quarter revenue was RMB734.0 million ($113.9 million), representing an increase of 78% from the same period in 2020. E-commerce accounted for 14% of the company’s revenue. 

  • In November, Bilibili obtained a payment license, moving one step closer to launching its own online payment service, an important step for tech companies looking to build a closed-loop shopping experience for users. 

Emma Lee

Emma Lee is Shanghai-based tech writer, covering startups and tech happenings in China and Asia in general. We are looking for stories related to tech and China. Reach her at lixin@technode.com.