NEW YORK, Dec. 10, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — In terms of internet development, China has been ranked second in the world (only behind the United States), and is steadily closing the gap, according to the latest Global Internet Development Index report. A significant share of this momentum has come from the rapid growth of live streaming in the country, which has become one of the most innovative internet-related businesses built out through the efforts of emerging livestreaming leaders, including Hello Pal International Inc. (OTCQB: HLLPF) (CSE: HP), JOYY Inc. (NASDAQ: YY), Tencent Holdings Limited (OTCPK: TCEHY), Baidu Inc. (NASDAQ: BIDU), and iQIYI, Inc. (NASDAQ: IQ).
The popularity of live streaming has ballooned around the world, especially in markets where lockdowns have occurred, or are ongoing. However, the rise of live streaming hosts and their audiences has, in many ways, happened entirely organically, as is the case with rising star Hello Pal International Inc. (CSE:HP) (OTC:HLLPF), which recently crossed the ever-important 5-million-user benchmark, and reported its subsidiary’s 6th consecutive month of being cashflow positive.
As of the release of its October numbers, Hello Pal’s registered user base is more than 5.2 million users from over 200 countries and regions—including China. The company attributes the positive increase in their registered-user numbers to be driven by their livestream service, which saw an increase of 5,000 daily users from its previous reports.
The announcement of its CAD$1.5 million October revenue represented the company’s Asian subsidiary’s 6th consecutive month of more than CAD$1 million, and an increase of 15x from its receipts from back in November 2019.
“We are pleased our company is truly global, and will continue to roll out new products, features, to reach new markets,” said Hello Pal advisor Hans Xu. “The Hello Pal platform is a truly diversified social platform.”
It took popular social media app Instagram nine months between October 2010 and June 2011 to hit the 5-million-user mark. Just ten months later, the company hit 50 million users. Today, Instagram has over one billion users, and is a jewel in the Facebook, Inc. crown.
Because of this type of potential trajectory, the management team at Hello Pal International sees the 5-million-user mark as very significant. The platform reached this milestone after launching its worldwide rollout back in August of 2019.
Though the Hello Pal platform has users from hundreds of countries, unlike Western live streaming juggernauts Twitch and YouTube, Hello Pal holds a significant advantage by having access to the massive Chinese live streaming market.
It’s within this market, which the likes of Amazon, Google, or Facebook cannot access, that other tech giants have become household names.
The current leader of the pack is Kuaishou, which is currently 21.5%-owned by Tencent Holdings Limited (OTC:TCEHY) and recently filed for its own IPO, through a financing projected to be worth up to US$5 billion, and valuing the company at more than US$50 billion.
Kuaishou’s footprint is enormous, with more than three quarters of a billion users—over a quarter of which are creators themselves. The live streaming platform is a flurry of activity, as its execs claim 302 million average daily active users in the first six months of this year.
Baidu’s iQIYI is one of the largest online video platforms in the world—sporting a very respectable 530 million monthly active users. In order to meet different audience demands, iQIYI has signaled it will be betting big on developing three genre-specific content libraries in the coming year, including suspense, romance, and comedy.
Apparently Baidu’s moves to dominate the Chinese live streaming market doesn’t end with iQIYI. Recently, the company said it plans to acquire the livestreaming service YY from JOYY Inc. (NASDAQ:YY) for US$3.6 billion.
Should the sale follow through to completion, it would allow Joyy to further focus on overseas growth, as well as its latest acquisition BIGO Live, which it acquired for US$1.45 billion back in 2019.
Expanding beyond China has been a stated goal from both JOYY and Hello Pal International. In the case of Hello Pal, the platform is looking towards other markets such as the Middle East, India, and Pakistan for expansion, which could be aided by its strategic alliance with Melot Group, which has its own dominant KK Livestream platform that has a respectable 200 million users of its own, and offices in 9 cities around the world including Mumbai and Islamabad.
Given that the original design of the Hello Pal platform centered around global travel and language learning, the app’s infrastructure continues to have many tricks up its sleeve to draw international audiences from several countries beyond China.
While the Chinese market remains quite lucrative, new rules governing the booming livestreaming sales industry have given rise to the need for companies to consider more market diversification.
Part of the new proposed rule changes could limit the amount of spending by users on gifts sent digitally from user to user.
However, breaking into other markets for the in-app-purchases business model, which is currently championed by platforms such as BIGO Live, may also have its own hurdles. Joyy’s BIGO Live is banned in India, and was briefly banned in Pakistan. Those platforms that can continue to have a presence in multiple countries, such as the Hellp Pal platform, should have the best chances for success, in order to continue to capitalize on the livestreaming boom.
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