Qu Toutiao is now one of the top five news apps in China with over 10 million daily active users. Qu Toutiao’s user interface (right) looks similar Toutiao (left):
Qu Toutiao also features a virtual rewards system that drives user engagement: Users receive a virtual coin when they spend time and engage with the app, which can be converted into money for purchasing on Qu Toutiao’s online store.
Note: Bytedance, which owns Toutiao, is a GGV portfolio company.
A Idol: Li Ka-Shing Retires
Knicknamed Superman, Li Ka-Shing is revered as one of the most influential businessmen in Asia. His legendary career has become a household rags-to-riches story in China: Born in the Chinese province of Guangdong, Li started a plastic factory in Hong Kong at age 21 with $6,500 in savings and loans from relatives. Now, Li is estimated to be the world’s 23rd richest person by Forbes with $35.1 billion in net worth.
Li is handing over the reins over his business empire, which includes retail, telecommunications, and real estate, to his eldest son, Victor Li.
A Buzzword: “Classical Investor”
Chief among these crypto non-believersis Allen Zhu (Zhu Xiaohu) of GSR Ventures, who has proclaimed on his WeChat timeline that “Calling ICOs a Ponzi scheme is an insult to Ponzi schemes.”
60 million – the number of paying subscribers of iQiyi, one of the largest online video platforms in China. The average user spends 1.7 hours per day on iQiyi.
In comparison, Netflix has 54.7 million domestic US subscribers (and 62.8 million international subscribers).
iQiyi has filed to go public on the Nasdaq to raise up to $2.7 billion. Baidu owns 69.6% of the Netflix-like video platform and will continue to be its controlling shareholder upon completion of the offering. The iQiyi F-1 is a great read.
996 Podcast: Miranda Qu of Xiaohongshu on Powering E-Commerce with Community
Miranda Qu is the co-founder of Xiaohongshu (“Little Red Book” in Chinese), the world’s the largest lifestyle platform that integrates community and content with e-commerce. Over 75 million users spend a total of over RMB 100 million per month on the app to buy fashion, cosmetics, and lifestyle products from both overseas and domestic brands.
Xiaohongshu is a pioneer in integrating content, commerce, and community – the “3 Cs” that GGV managing partner Hans Tung thinks today’s e-commerce platforms must possess in order to stand out in “the age of Alibaba and Amazon.”
In this episode, Miranda discusses how she met her cofounder Charlwin Mao in a shopping mall in Boston, Xiaohongshu’s journey from a “Lonely Planet for overseas shopping” to one of China’s most popular e-commerce platforms, and why young Chinese consumers increasingly prefer domestic brands over foreign ones.