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经济学人快手VS抖音,谁将成为最后的赢家?



背景介绍:

2月5日,“中国短视频第一股”快手正式登陆港交所,开盘价338港元,较发行价115港元暴涨193.91%,市值达到13886亿港元(约合1791亿美元)。作为中国短视频领域的两大巨头,快手和抖音谁将成为最后的赢家?


Kuaishou takes on TikTok and its Chinese sibling

快手正在与抖音及中国其他短视频应用相竞争

China’s short-video wars are heating up

中国短视频之战正在升温

“We aim to be the most customer-obsessed company in the world,” declares the opening line in the 700-page prospectus from Kuaishou, a Chinese video app. The firm, launched a decade ago by a former software engineer at Google and another at Hewlett-Packard, boasts more than 250m daily active users, up from an average of just 67m in 2017. 

“我们致力于成为全球最痴迷于为客户创造价值的公司”,中国短视频应用快手在其长达700页的招股说明书的开头这样写道。十年前,两位软件工程师(分别任职于谷歌和惠普)共同创立了这家公司,如今,快手的日活跃用户已超2.5亿(2017年时还仅为6700万)。

Kuaishou is expected to hit a valuation of around $50bn when it goes public next month in Hong Kong. That would lift it above better-known social-media titans like Twitter (worth $37bn).

下月,快手即将在香港上市,届时其市值预计将达到近500亿美元。此次上市将使其在市值上超越推特(市值370亿美元)等更为知名的社交媒体巨头。

Kuaishou’s revenues have soared in recent years, reaching 25bn yuan ($3.6bn) in the first six months of 2020, up by nearly half on the previous year. Just over two-thirds of this came from what the firm calls “live-stream gifting”. It hosted nearly 1bn live-streaming sessions in that period, taking a cut on “tips” that viewers shower on their favourite live-streamers. 

近年来,快手的营收实现了大幅增长,其在2020年上半年的营收高达250亿元(约合36亿美元),同比增长近50%。其中超过三分之二的营收来自于该公司所谓的“直播打赏”。在这半年时间里,快手组织直播近10亿场次,在直播中,观众会给他们最喜欢的主播“打赏”,快手则从中抽成。

A tip can be as small as 10 fen (1.5 cents) or as generous as 2,000 yuan. Performers film themselves singing, dancing, otherwise prancing or just sunbathing. New stars can expect to fork half of their tips over to the platform.

一次打赏少则1毛(约合1.5美分),多则2000元。主播们则是表演唱歌、跳舞或神气活现地欢蹦乱跳,甚至只是躺在那里晒太阳。新晋主播的打赏所得往往会被平台抽走一半。

Amid this exuberance two threats loom. The first comes from China’s increasingly hands-on regulators (see article). In November they mandated that video apps like Kuaishou impose daily and monthly limits on the amount that users can tip live-streamers. 

快手的一片繁荣景象之下隐现着两大威胁。其一来自于中国日渐严厉的监管机构。去年11月,监管机构要求快手等视频应用对用户每日及每月给主播打赏的最高金额加以限制。

Moreover, to prevent impressionable minors from being coaxed into sponsoring cunning broadcasters, platforms have been instructed to perform tougher background checks on users with such tools as facial-recognition technology. 

此外,为防止一些别有用心的主播引诱未成年人打赏,监管机构还要求各平台利用人脸识别技术等工具对用户进行更为严格的背景调查。

Bureaucrats in Beijing have yet to work out precisely what Kuaishou’s daily and monthly ceilings ought to be. But growth will probably slow down once the details are hashed out.

有关快手每日及每月的打赏限额目前尚未敲定,但一旦最终确定,快手或将面临增长放缓的压力。

Douyin, TikTok’s Chinese sister app and Kuaishou’s arch-rival, is better insulated from the regulatory crackdown. Like Kuaishou, it operates a live-streaming business. But unlike its competitor, it earns most of its revenues from online ads, which the new rules do not affect. 

快手的首要竞争对手抖音(TikTok 在中国的姊妹应用)则并未在此次监管打击下受到太大的影响。和快手一样,抖音也经营着直播业务。但不同于快手的是,抖音的大部分收入都来自于在线广告,而新规并未涉及这一领域。

For comparison, adverts accounted for just 28% of Kuaishou’s revenue mix in the first half of 2020. The company may now try to raise that share. To do so Kuaishou will have to overcome the somewhat outdated perception that its users are disproportionately folk living in small cities and rural areas with less money to buy advertised wares.

相比之下,快手2020年上半年的广告收入仅占其总收入的28%。如今,快手或将努力提高其广告收入的占比。但想要实现这一点,快手必须克服一种有些过时的观念,即快手的用户在很大程度上来自于小城市和农村地区,这些人可能无力购买广告上的商品。

The second threat is the potential for a price war between Kuaishou and Douyin. For both platforms, user growth is largely a function of the appeal of their video content, which in turn depends on the calibre of the producers behind it. A race to the bottom, whereby each firm lowers its “take rate” on tips and ad sales to lure popular broadcasters from the other app, would depress margins.

第二大威胁则是快手与抖音之间可能会爆发一场价格战。对于这两个平台而言,视频内容的吸引力在很大程度上决定了其用户增长,而视频内容的吸引力又取决于其背后制作人的能力。如果两家公司大打价格战(即降低打赏和广告的“抽成”),以吸引热门主播跳槽而来,这将压低公司利润。

At the moment neither company has a particular incentive to shatter the cosy duopoly, points out Jeffrey Young of Grandly Asset Management, a broker. But the possible arrival of a big competitor—not inconceivable in China’s effervescent e-economy—could disrupt this equilibrium, Mr Young suggests.

经纪公司格兰德资产管理公司的杰弗里·杨指出,就目前而言,两家公司都没有足够的理由来打破这种舒适的双头垄断。不过,杰弗里·杨认为,未来或许会出现一个强力竞争者来打破这种平衡,这种情况在中国蓬勃发展的电子经济中并非不可想象。

Despite its domestic challenges (or maybe because of them), Kuaishou is proceeding apace with its global ambitions. The international version of its app, Kwai, claims “tens of millions” of users in markets from Brazil and Colombia to Malaysia and Vietnam. 

尽管面临着国内的这些挑战(或许也正因如此),快手正在迅速推进其全球扩张的步伐。从巴西和哥伦比亚到马来西亚和越南,快手国际版“Kwai”号称拥有“千万级”用户。

It still lacks the name-recognition of TikTok, though that may prove to be a blessing in disguise. Kwai has thus far avoided the sort of political scrutiny that its better-known rival has attracted in many foreign markets. 

目前,Kwai 尚不具 TikTok 那样的知名度,但这或许并非一件坏事。不像广为人知的 TikTok,到目前为止,Kwai 在外国市场还没有受到太多的政治审查。

(红色标注词为重难点词汇) 


小编说

快手此次IPO受到市场追捧,成为了近期新股发行的人气王,开盘首日13886亿港元的市值也使其挤进中国互联网前五。但在一片繁荣景象之下,快手也面临着巨大的压力,其一是来自于监管机构的日益加剧的监管压力,其二是来自于竞争对手的压力。



重难点词汇:
obsess [?b?ses] v. 迷住;缠住;困扰
prance [pr?ns] v. 昂首阔步;欢跃
exuberance [?ɡ?zu?b?r?ns] n. 繁荣;茂盛;健康
insulate [??ns?le?t] v. 隔离;孤立;绝缘
crackdown [?kr?kda?n] n. 镇压;制裁;惩罚
duopoly [du??ɑ?p?li] n. 双头垄断



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