Chinese short video platform Kuaishou has opened its e-commerce store to local merchants managing online-to-offline services, including everything from food delivery to hospitality.

Why it matters: Continuing its recent focus on e-commerce, the Beijing-based company is expanding into the competitive local services market, which already includes fierce rivals such as Meituan, ByteDance’s Douyin, and Alibaba’s Alipay.

  • Kuaishou’s move to extend its homegrown services business comes on the heels of a December partnership with Meituan. Under the deal, Kuaishou users have gained access to Meituan’s services through a Meituan mini-program within the short video app.
  • The short video app has begun venturing into e-commerce, along with livestreaming and gaming, to commercialize its user base.

READ MORE: ByteDance is trying to take a bite of Meituan’s cake

Details: In addition to physical products, merchants can now sell various services through Kuaishou’s online store Kwai Shop, according to a Tuesday statement from the company.

  • Merchants offering 15 categories of services, including food and drink, hospitality, healthcare, entertainment, film, and transportation ticketing, can apply to set up their own stores on the platform from Jan. 15.
  • With their own Kuaishou store, merchants can manage their service listings to drive transactions and potentially convert online customer attention into offline service sales.
  • To attract merchants, the platform is offering incentives to business operators. Kuaishou has pledged to encourage new store registrations with a promotion plan that offers individual stores up to RMB 1,000 ($158) and viewership from 50,000 customers.
  • American chain KFC, hotpot chain Haidilao, Meituan’s hotel booking service, and healthcare clinic chain iKang are among the earliest brands to launch their stores on the platform.
  • “The growth of the traditional in-store group-buying business model is slowing down, and merchants are in urgent need of new service models to attract users and to promote purchasing frequency,” Zhu Yunbo, head of Kuaishou’s local life service unit, said in a statement shared with TechNode on Tuesday. 

Context: Kuaishou, China’s second-largest short video-sharing app, reportedly laid off up to 30% of its workforce in December as Chinese tech giants weather a market downturn.

Emma Lee

Emma Lee (Li Xin) was TechNode's e-commerce and new retail reporter until June 2022, when she moved to Sixth Tone to cover technology and consumption. Get in touch with her via lixin@sixthtone.com or Twitter.