Chinese short video giant Kuaishou launches AI system that creates virtual idols for corporate customers
- StreamLake is the first enterprise-facing product from Kuaishou, which has never turned a profit but hopes to break even this year
- Since going public in Hong Kong last year, the short video platform operator has faced mounting regulatory pressure and a plummeting stock price
StreamLake is the first enterprise-facing product from Kuaishou, which reported 6.25 billion yuan (US$925.3 million) in losses in the first quarter, as the company pivots after struggling to turn the attention of its 350 million daily active users into profit.
Defined as a “one-stop AI solution to audio and video”, StreamLake is designed to help businesses generate and promote videos. The new service is able to integrate special effects, enhance resolution, store and manage multimedia files, smooth live-streaming sessions and analyse data, according to its website.
The system can even analyse faces and movements to build virtual characters that can speak, perform and interact with audiences during live-streaming sessions. The feature could potentially save merchants money in their efforts to woo consumers through live streaming and short videos.
StreamLake also has a partnership with graphics card developer Nvidia to open the platform to third-party developers, start-ups and other partners, the company said.
In March, China’s central government published guidelines to “further regulate profit-making practices in live streaming and promote the healthy development of the industry”. The same month, a regulation designed to rein in the use of recommendation algorithms in apps went into effect, curtailing a feature important to revenues for short video platforms. Months earlier, tax authorities ramped up efforts to regulate the live-streaming industry.
Kuaishou CEO Cheng Yixiao said in March that the company is “very confident that [its] domestic business will deliver a quarterly adjusted net profit within 2022”.