Despite iQiyi Denial, Is Baidu Set to Roll Credits on Its Video Affiliate?

Baidu is rumored to be seeking to sell its controlling stake in iQiyi, a video platform dubbed “China’s Netflix”. The report was denied by iQiyi, but Baidu’s silence is stoking market speculation Key Takeaways: A Reuters report says search engine giant Baidu is considering selling the recently profitable iQiyi platform with a target price of $7 billion iQiyi denied the report. But it could make sense for Baidu to divest from video streaming to sharpen its focus on cloud services, AI and self-driving products By Fai Pui Just as the video…

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In Search of Profits, Q&A Site Zhihu Finds New Answer in Vocational Education

Company often called the ‘Quora of China’ reported a huge jump in vocational training revenue in the first quarter, even as its overall losses widened Key Takeaways: Zhihu’s revenue grew 55.4% in the first quarter, but its adjusted net loss grew by an even bigger 89.8% Company’s vocational education services could be a major new growth engine, as China encourages private sector investment in the area By Christina Meng In the ongoing game of “yes” and “no” being played by leading Q&A site Zhihu Inc. (ZH.US; 2390.HK), the answer on…

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Living in TikTok’s Shadow, Kuaishou Bleeds Red Ink and Cash

The short-video platform’s loss narrowed by 34% in the first quarter, as investors worry about how long its cash can last Key Takeaways: Kuaishou’s adjusted net loss narrowed in the first quarter, but its ad revenue came under pressure during China’s latest Covid containment measures The company’s user base is almost half as large as that for TikTok parent ByteDance, even though its operating revenue and gross profit are just one-third as big By Ken Lo  Shares of Kuaishou Technology (1024.HK) have come a long way since their trading debut in Hong Kong last…

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Is Tencent Past the Worst as Government Sends Easing Signals?

After reporting disappointing quarterly results, gaming giant could get help as government signals plans to relax recent regulatory wave Key Takeaways: Tencent reported its first quarter profit fell 22.9%, but the market believes the worst is past after Beijing’s recent end to its freeze on new game approvals The company believes a recent wave of government regulation could soon ease, but time will be needed for that to translate to higher revenues By Fai Pui A recent article headlined “No one cares about the economy except Hu Xijin” went viral…

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After Rising to Fame as Hot Audio Social App, Yalla Finds New Role Model in Facebook

Emerging markets-focused social media company details several new initiatives in its latest quarterly report as it diversifies beyond its core voice-based services Key Takeaways: Yalla said its first-quarter revenue rose 6.9% to a record $72.3 million, as strong gains for its game services offset a first-time decline for its core voice business Company is launching a wide array of new initiatives, including an instant messaging app and its first-ever hardcore game, in a bid to become more diversified By Doug Young It burst onto investor radar screens with comparisons to…

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Fading Producer of China’s ‘The Voice’ Files for Hong Kong IPO

Star CM took China by storm with a Chinese edition of the popular reality series, but has fallen onto hard times lately Key Takeaways: Variety show producer Star CM has filed for a Hong Kong IPO, seeking funds to revive its fading fortunes Revenue from the company’s flagship “Sing! China” dropped from 1.14 billion yuan during its heyday in 2015 to just 252 million yuan last year. By Ken Lo The company behind “Sing! China,” the hugely popular Chinese rendition of the U.S. reality show “The Voice,” is taking its…

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Huya, DouYu Flounder in First Quarter, With Worse to Come

Livestream gaming platforms reported losses and contracting revenue in first quarter, and warned of tough times ahead after announcement of new restrictions last week Key Takeaways: Huya and DouYu, which were once set to merge, reported losing money and revenue declines in the first quarter Both companies will continue struggling in current quarter after announcement of new restrictions on online tipping last week By Doug Young New quarterly results from top gaming livestreamers Huya Inc. (HUYA.US) and DouYu International Holdings Ltd. (DOYU.US) are a sea of red ink, with nearly…

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Shrinking Tencent Music Looks for Sustainable Business Model

China’s equivalent of Spotify posted first-quarter revenue and profit declines, as it overhauls its business after being ordered to stop anti-competitive practices Key Takeaways: Tencent Music’s revenue and profit fell 15% and 34%, respectively, in the first quarter, after the company was ordered to stop its anti-competitive practices last year Company is shifting focus to providing more products and services for music lovers in bid to create a sustainable business model in the current environment By Doug Young Singing the blues, or hitting all the right notes? Those are two…

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Livestream Tipping Clampdown: Bad for the Big Boys, But Worse for Small Fries

The latest rules limiting online tipping by minors are further clouding prospects for an industry already facing tighter regulation Key Takeaways: Newly announced rules will ban minors from tipping their favorite livestreaming hosts and outlaw tip rankings Big platforms like Kuaishou have more balanced tipping structures and diverse revenues, meaning they could suffer less from the new policy than smaller rivals By Ken Lo Like that livestreaming host you’re watching online? Then leave a tip, no matter how small. Unless you’re a minor, that is. Tipping has become a pervasive…

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