Chinese tech giant Tencent has launched an AI-powered video editing tool called Zenvideo, integrating a variety of features for short-form video creators, such as text-to-video generation and digital narration.  

Why it matters: With its growing emphasis on short video, Tencent is looking to further challenge current market leaders in the sector such as Kuaishou and ByteDance’s TikTok sibling Douyin. Tencent’s new offering comes with similar capabilities to ByteDance’s CapCut, which recently surpassed 200 million monthly active users in the US.

Details: Zenvideo is available to use both through web browsers and WeChat’s mini-program, but is more powerful as a web app. The version within Tencent’s superapp has comparatively limited AI features, only supporting AI painting and digital narration. 

  • The video editing tool allows users to create short-form videos, with a range of editing options such as filters, visual effects, and digital avatars.
  • Unlike ByteDance’s video editing toolCapCut (Jianyin in the Chinese market), Tencent’s new tool can be operated on the web without the need to download an app. Furthermore, users can import Tencent licensed video and audio clips and use them as long as the final work is published on Tencent’s open content platforms. For example, users are able to use music from Tencent’s streaming platforms and take clips from popular Tencent Video TV shows such as The Three-Body Problem and Red Sorghum and edit them for free within Zenvideo. 
  • According to a notice within the tool, Tencent plans to share revenue with video creators as an incentive to attract more content creators.

Context: This week, Tencent’s super app WeChat also announced several changes to its ecosystem, especially for its short video section WeChat Channels. 

  • WeChat Channels has an average daily user time of about 40 minutes, which is less than one-third of the two leading short video platforms Douyin and Kuaishou. The latter reached a new high of 134 minutes in the fourth quarter of last year, its latest financial results showed.
  • Regarded as “the hope of the whole company” by Tencent CEO Pony Ma, WeChat Channels is planning to launch a paid subscription service and share revenue with creators of short videos. This move is likely to heat up the competition among similar platforms.

Cheyenne Dong is a tech reporter now based in Shanghai. She covers e-commerce and retail, AI, and blockchain. Connect with her via e-mail: cheyenne.dong[a]