Oriental Selection set to stream on Taobao amid tensions with Douyin

The tutoring company-turned-livestream-sensation Oriental Selection (formerly New Oriental) continues to weaken its ties with the short video platform Douyin, where the company first set up shop in 2021.

Oriental Selection has announced it will start livestreaming on the e-commerce site Taobao from August 29. This comes a month after the company’s inaugural livestream on its new independent app, which achieved a single-day GMV of 30 million RMB (4.12 million USD).

According to job postings found online, Oriental Selection is in the process of recruiting talent for a Taobao specialist team, including a new business manager, graphic designer, and product selection manager. The company is also in talks with Unilever, according to WeChat exchanges obtained by Jiemian News, so more skincare, electronics, and home appliance products are expected to enter Oriental Selections offerings on Taobao.

Shortly after the first livestream on Oriental Selection’s new app, the livestream room of one of Oriental Selection’s subsidiary accounts on Douyin was shut down for three days. According to Shanghai-based outlet The Paper, the channel was shut down for displaying the QR code of its own independent app during the livestream, redirecting traffic from Douyin to the independent app. Oriental Selection’s main livestream room continued operating during the temporary ban.

The ban only affirms Oriental Selection’s founder Yu Minhong’s belief that a multi-platform business model is the only way forward. China’s Double Reduction Policy, introduced in 2021 rendered Oriental Selection’s original business model virtually defunct overnight, so Yu is keen to avoid overexposure to the whims of powerful tech companies like ByteDance.

After the news broke of the upcoming Taobao livestream launch, shares in Oriental Selection rose by nearly 8% to 42 HKD (5.35 USD) a share, with a market value of 42.59 billion HKD (5.43 billion USD).


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