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325 million lured by live streaming apps

By MENG JING (China Daily) Updated: 2016-08-04 02:01

The number of live streaming app users in China topped 325 million by the end of June, according to a government-backed industry body.

It attributes this to better internet technology, a greater willingness among young people to share their personal lives online and increased demand for short, real-time entertainment.

325 million lured by live streaming apps

These users accounted for 45.8 percent of all internet users, which stood at nearly 710 million, an increase of more than 21 million from six months ago, according to a report on Wednesday by the China Internet Network Information Center.

The apps are mainly used to broadcast sports events, reality shows, online games and concerts, according to the report, which showcases the latest developments in China’s internet industry.

Feng Yousheng, chief executive officer of Inke, a widely used live streaming app in China, said more young people are enjoying such “fragmented entertainment” with the help of faster internet connections.

“Rather than spending a lot of money and time on going to the movies, the post-1990 generation watches broadcasts in real time on phones, interacts with show hosts and has a good time during a lunch break or while waiting at bus stations,” he said.

Spurred by venture capital investment, the live streaming industry only started to take off at the start of this year. But its strong growth momentum has put it ahead of other emerging internet apps, such as online food deliveries and travel reservations.

A total of 106 live streaming apps secured funding of 2.37 billion yuan ($350 million) last year. Tan Shufen, an analyst at the Beijing-based center, said the rise of such apps is in line with the growing popularity of video streaming in China.

“For the first time, video streaming overtook online music as the top internet entertainment service at the end of last year. The number of online video users has maintained strong growth in the first half of this year, with 85.7 percent of 514 million online video viewers preferring to look at the small screens on their smartphones to watch videos,” Tan said.

With the increasing popularity of live streaming, the Ministry of Public Security has stepped up efforts to tighten control of the sector by carrying out a nationwide campaign to clean up pornographic and vulgar content in cyberspace.


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