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Kuaishou acquires UEFA Champion League broadcast rights

Kuaishou, a TikTok-like short video platform, has signed a broadcast agreement with UEFA for rights to Champions League games. The deal sees Kuaishou become the official streaming platform of the UEFA Champions League this season and gives the Douyin rival the right to produce videos based on original content provided by UEFA. Kuaishou has reportedly been on a sports-related spending spree since 2020, buying up rights to major events such as the Olympics, Italian Serie A football, the NFL Super Bowl, and the NBA among others. [36kr, in Chinese]

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Kuaishou adjusts focus to overseas business, creates international commercialization department

Short-video platform Kuaishou is making its overseas business a priority, as confirmed during a plenary meeting of its international business department on Thursday. At the meeting, Kuaishou created a new department for international commercialization, while the former head of the company’s international business department, Chou Guangyu, will leave the company. After these adjustments, the two international departments will report directly to Cheng Yixiao, the CEO and co-founder of Kuaishou. Cheng stated in an earnings call last year that Kuaishou is optimistic about its overseas business. [36Kr, in Chinese]

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Kuaishou to shut down video app Zynn

Chinese short video company Kuaishou announced Wednesday that it will close Zynn, a short video app that targets the US market, on Aug. 20. Launched in May 2020, the app was part of Kuaishou’s plan to compete with ByteDance’s hugely popular social video app TikTok. Kuaishou said in a user notification that it will delete all users’ data within 45 days of the termination date. Kuaishou said its overseas strategy remains unchanged, without explaining Zynn’s shutdown, in a statement. [Caixin, in Chinese]

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Kuaishou starts a new round of layoffs: report

Chinese short video platform Kuaishou is starting a new round of layoffs, Chinese media The Paper reported Wednesday. Mid-level managers and low-performing employees are likely to be cut, according to the report. It’s unclear how many people will be affected. Kuaishou staff have posted on China’s business social platform Maimai that the company may cut 10% to 30% of the staff. Kuaishou’s downsizing followed layoff moves from ByteDance and iQiyi. Chinese tech giants are weathering a market downturn due to tightened regulations and slowed economic growth. [The Paper, in Chinese]

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Kuaishou shuffles management of global division

Two executives from Kuaishou’s international arm have left the company after failing to meet the firm’s globalization expectations in 2021, Chinese media outlet LatePost reported on Wednesday. Shao Kai, the operational head of Kuaishou’s global video-sharing app Kwai, and the company’s head for the Southeast Asian market, who the report refers to simply as “Zack,” have resigned from their positions. Kuaishou has already named new executives to oversee these parts of the business, who will report directly to Qiu Guangyu, Kuaishou’s globalization lead. In an October reshuffle, the Beijing-based firm integrated its global apps for different markets into one single app, Kwai, and called off its expansion to new overseas markets. The management reshuffle in Kuaishou’s global division comes after the short video app made major job cuts across key teams, including e-commerce, algorithms, and globalization, at the beginning of 2022. [LatePost, in Chinese]

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Kuaishou to block external links to Taobao and JD next month

Chinese short video app Kuaishou is planning to block external links to Alibaba-owned e-commerce platform Taobao and online retailer JD from March. Taobao product links will be barred from displaying within the video app, while JD links will be blocked from showing in the shopping chart during livestreaming sessions, but still accessible through shopping charts in short videos and on information pages. The company has attributed the forthcoming changes to “agreement adjustments” without providing further details. Short video sites, notably Kuaishou and Douyin, are building up their own e-commerce businesses to compete with market incumbents such as Alibaba and JD. Kuaishou reportedly achieved a gross merchandise value of RMB 680 billion ($108 billion) in 2021, higher than a downsized RMB 650 billion target, but still less than its original RMB 750 to 800 billion goal. [Ifeng, in Chinese]

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Kuaishou slashes employee benefits after layoff reports

Short video app Kuaishou is cutting employee perks to limit internal spending after Chinese media reported the company started a round of layoffs in early December. The company will narrow down housing subsidies, only offering employees less than three years of service, starting next February. It will also cancel free meals and afternoon tea breaks next year. However, the company will expand maternity benefits, pledging to offer maternity allowance up to RMB 3,000 ($470) to employees. [The Paper, in Chinese]