Tencent-backed short video app Kuaishou launches mini game similar to WeChat’s offering
- Tencent-backed Kuaishou launches first app game called “Jumping Ball” – looks similar to WeChat title from a year ago
Kuaishou, one of China’s hottest video-sharing and live-streaming apps, has introduced a new feature allowing users to play games inside the app without having to download them separately, highlighting the race among Chinese tech start-ups to become all-in-one entertainment platforms.
The gaming feature was reported by some mainland-based Kuaishou users this week after they found a casual title called Tiao Tiao Qiu, which roughly translates as “Jumping Ball”. The in-app game allows users to swipe their finger across the screen to keep a ball hopping on platforms in a twisted row, and collect points for each successful jump. Players can share their scores with their friends on Kuaishou.
So far Tiao Tiao Qiu is the only game available inside Tencent-backed Kuaishou. But the app’s new gaming section features several stand-alone apps the Beijing-based company launched earlier this year. They include a 3D card game and a gaming platform hosting dozens of puzzle and casual titles.
A Beijing-based spokeswoman for Kuaishou declined to comment on the gaming feature, which appears to be under testing for selected users.
Kuaishou’s latest foray into gaming comes as China’s internet giants compete against one another to offer all-in-one apps to keep users within their ecosystems as much as possible. One prominent example is WeChat, launched by Tencent Holdings in 2011 as a chat app but which has now morphed into a super app where over one billion Chinese people play games, read news, order food, pay bills and more.
In December last year WeChat launched its “mini game” function within the app, and among the most popular offerings was a platform-jumping game similar to Kuaishou’s Tiao Tiao Qiu.
Founded in 2011, Kuaishou allows users to create short videos or live-stream themselves doing anything from playing pranks to showing off knife-spinning skills. With about 130 million daily active users, Kuaishou typically targets youth in small Chinese towns outside major urban areas. It has also gained fans in overseas markets like Vietnam and Turkey. Its arch-rival is Douyin, a short video app offered by Beijing-based Bytedance.
While Kuaishou has proven to be a hotbed for internet celebrities, it has suffered crackdowns by the Chinese government for hosting unsuitable content, such as videos about teenage mothers.
Kuaishou, whose backers include Tencent, Baidu and venture capital firm Sequoia, is in talks to raise money at a valuation that could reach US$25 billion, US tech publication The Information reported in October.
Additional reporting by Meng Jing