Chinese video-sharing app Kuaishou files for IPO as new leaders emerge in the industry – CNBC

Sales associates at one of Alibaba-owned InTime’s store display products for sale during a livestream.

InTime | Alibaba

BEIJING – The fickle Chinese consumer has latched onto a set of new preferences for watching videos, a trend investors and media giants are tapping into.

Late on Thursday, short-video and livestreaming app Kuaishou filed for an initial public offering on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. The offering is reportedly expected to raise $5 billion.

Morgan Stanley, Bank of America Securities and China Renaissance are the underwriters, according to the filing.

Kuaishou claims 302 million average daily active users in the first six months of this year. The company said revenues during that time were 25.3 billion yuan ($3.8 billion), up from 17.1 billion yuan a year ago.

Video game streaming aside, analysts say the video apps at the forefront of popularity among Chinese consumers are: ByteDance’s Douyin, the Chinese version of the popular short-video sharing app TikTok, as well as Kuaishou and Bilibili — both backed by Tencent.

Stay-home policies and acceleration of the digital economy in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic have helped the trend. In particular, livestreaming has taken off in China as a way to entertain – and sell products.

“We believe short video plays Douyin and Kuaishou, since they entered the Live field, have reshaped China’s Live landscape causing mounting pressure on the existing plays,” Jialong Shi, head of China internet and new media research