TikTok’s Chinese nemesis Kuaishou hits 1 billion monthly users worldwide

It’s a big day for Kuaishou, TikTok’s largest rival in China. The Chinese short-video company, known overseas for one of its video apps Kwai, announced it has sailed past the one billion monthly active user (MAU) mark.

How big is that? Facebook’s MAUs stood at 2.85 billion as of March. TikTok was forecasted to surpass 1.2 billion MAUs this year, and its Chinese version Douyin said in September it had already amassed 600 million daily users. So there’s still room for Kuaishou to catch up.

China remains Kuaishou’s key market. Its overseas MAUs exceeded 100 million in the first quarter, during which it “moved forward with our strategy in South America and Southeast Asia,” and quickly jumped to 150 million MAUs by April, the firm noted on an earnings call.

Listed in Hong Kong, Kuaishou’s stock climbed more than 6% to nearly HK$200 ($25.70) a share on Wednesday, lifting its market cap to about HK$830 billion ($107 billion), though the price is well below its peak at HK$415 in February.

Kuaishou’s advancement around the world is a reminder that ByteDance isn’t the only Chinese internet company making significant inroads into foreign markets. Bigo, owned by China’s Joy, was a hugely popular live-video app in India before getting banned by the local government.

“As a pioneer since 2011, Kuaishou has provided internet users globally the opportunity to record and share their life stories,” the firm’s founder and CEO Su Hua said at a press conference Wednesday where he announced the app had earned the official broadcasting rights to air the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.