Twitch-like game streaming website, Douyu TV, is reported to have raised a large amount of funding from Tencent, the WSJ reported earlier.
The game streaming business is hot around the world. Twitch was acquired by Amazon last year for USD 97 million and Youtube has established an independent channel, Youtube Gaming as of June, in addition to having just launched a mobile game streaming application in Japan.
There were an estimated 30 million Chinese gamers watching game streaming websites as of last year and that number may hit 100 million in 2016, according to iResearch. Chinese investors have increased their interests in the top Chinese game streaming websites.
AllChinaTech has handpicked the most popular game streaming companies currently operating in China. Who will take the title of the ‘Twitch of China’?
Douyu was previously the live broadcasting section of Chinese online video website AcFun. Last January, it became independent and renamed itself to Douyu TV. It has since fundraised an A-series of RMB 20 million (USD 3.17 million) and a B-series of USD 20 million both from Sequoia Capital.
Douyu, as the leader of game streaming in China, has daily pageviews of 39.69 million. It focuses on live streaming games, and also broadcast sports, entertainment, and cultural programs. It has been criticized for its aggressive expansion. Earlier this year, Douyu hired six top live casters from rival Huya.com together worth RMB 60 million.
Previously known as YY Livecasting, Huya belongs to NASDAQ-listed company YY. Huya became independent last November. With support from YY, Huya used to have the most popular live streamers including live streamer, Xiaozhi, who was previously reported to have a contract worth RMB 20 million with Douyu.
However, because of the competition with Douyu, Huya has lost many of its famous live streamers. Huya has had to spend a fortune hiring other top tier live streamers to make up for its loss of talent, pushing the company into a large deficit in its most recent financial report. According to YY’s financial report, Huya saw a net loss of RMB 90 million in March.
In an interview with Barclays Capital analysts in March, He Zhengyu, YY’s CFO, said YY intended to invest RMB 700 million in Huya for 2015.
Huomao TV was established in 2014. Its parent company Mars TV is an online video website focusing on sports and gaming. In July, Mars TV claimed to have raised RMB 100 million in a B-series funding. The year before, it claimed to have raised USD ten million in an A-series funding.
Huomao TV has a strategic partnership with Perfect World, a NASDAQ-listed gaming company from whom they got exclusive rights to broadcast the Dota 2 Asia Championships in China. Dota 2 is one of the most popular video games in the world with approximately ten million daily active players worldwide. The Dota 2 Asia Championships in Shanghai attracted over 20 thousand spectators to the offline venue in February.
Longzhu TV was launched in February 2015 by PLU and Tencent’s Gaming Platform TGA. PLU is an entertainment company specializing in video games. Longzhu TV was developed from the live broadcasting service of TGA. Because of its relationship to Tencent, Longzhu TV has exclusive rights to broadcast games owned by TGA, including League of Legends (LOL). LOL is the most popular online game in the world now and has 27 million daily active players worldwide.
PLU claims they will invest up to RMB 100 million (USD 15 million) in Longzhu in 2015.
Zhanqi TV was introduced by gaming company Bianfeng in May 2014. Bianfeng is owned by Zhejiang Daily Media, an A-share mainland listed company that has a market value of RMB 2.3 billion (USD 365 million).
Founded in 1999, Bianfeng owns the gaming platform Haofang, or CGA, which has over 200 million registered users.
Panda TV has not yet launched but it has already attracted wide attention from both within China and overseas stemming from its founder, Wang Sicong’s pedigree. Wang is the son of China’s richest businessman, Wang Jianlin, founder and CEO of Wanda Group.
Panda TV was founded in July 2015 with registered capital of RMB 20 million. Though it has not launched, Panda TV has poached several first tier live streamers by offering them high salaries to attract them away from other competing ventures.
Wang has also invested in gaming clubs and other associated companies throughout China, including LeTV’s Sports Channel, signaling his ambitions for the gaming industry.