WeChat, the instant messaging app owned by the Chinese tech giant Tencent, is to launch a series of gaming live streams during the Chinese New Year. This announcement has excited gamers in China, the world’s largest video game market, as according to WeChat on 23 January.
The gaming carnival will be live-streamed exclusively through WeChat Channels, a short video platform within WeChat that was launched in 2020, another stride by WeChat to boost the growth of this video arm; following the launch of paid livestreaming service in early January this year.
These swift efforts in such a short period of time have shown a strong desire by WeChat to tap into China’s short-video market, which continues to gain steam in the country. The rise of Douyin has naturally been meteoric within China and WeChat, with such a large consumer base, has noticed the potential to push into this lucrative market and events like above are helping them take more market share.
Nine out of ten games to be live streamed during this festive season (from 23 January to 10 February) are Tencent’s owned products, including its flagship game Honor of Kings and Peacekeeper Elite (its rebranded version of PUBG mobile battle royale), League of Legends and Call of Duty. A clear effort to leverage the country’s enthusiasm for gaming, to pull its expansion into the short video industry, with both working together harmoniously and off the companies own creations.
Interestingly, Genshin Impact, which was developed by another Chinese game publisher miHoYo, is also included in the list. Despite a late release in 2020, Genshin Impact, an action role-playing game, has soon grown into one of the national favourite games in just a year, following an instant hit, as it reached over 10 million monthly active users in the first month of its birth year. The inclusion of this game would no doubt draw in the large fandom of this video game to tune in the live streaming session on WeChat Channels, therefore, driving the user base of this young product.
Moreover, with the exclusive landing of these hit games, it would also bolster the competitiveness of its video platform in the rivalry with existing short video experts including Kuaishou and ByteDance’s Douyin (Chinese Tik Tok). As WeChat begins to grow in this market, and with the events and backing they are currently showing, there will be an interesting battle within the market as this newcomer can pose a real threat and challenge to those brands dominating the market currently.