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Tencent reportedly in talks with Sequoia-backed game streaming service Douyu TV

Tencent reportedly in talks with Sequoia-backed game streaming service Douyu TV

The video and game streaming space in China is starting to attract a fair bit of attention as of late.

Earlier this month, we reported on three pretty significant developments — firstly, Chinese ecommerce giant Alibaba started trialling a video-streaming service called Tmall Box Office (TBO), in a move that is known to signal its ambition to become the “Netflix of China.”

Alibaba’s streaming service, while still not broadly available yet, is expected to cost about $6 per month.


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Secondly, we reported last week that the country is about to give birth to a Twitch competitor called Panda TV, with some serious muscle backing it. The video game streaming service will defend against foreign-owned rivals like Amazon’s Twitch and Google’s recently-launched YouTube Gaming.

As for Tencent — and this is the third titbit of late — it inked a deal with Walt Disney to give it exclusive streaming rights in the country to the first six Star Wars movies.

shutterstock_289197221

shutterstock_289197221

With all this happening in just the past two weeks, Thursday’s news via The Wall Street Journal that Tencent is close to completing an investment in homegrown game streaming service Douyu TV is — again — interesting.

The size of the investment appears to remain unclear at this stage.

Eighteen-month-old Douyu TV is partly notable for being backed by Sequoia Capital China, so it’s clearly not a company that is likely to vanish over night, and is likely gaining good traction in its home market.

There are now more than 446 million gamers in China, with game revenue expected to reach $22.2 billion this year, according to data from research firm Newzoo that was cited by WSJ. Other estimates I’ve come across in the past suggest that over half of these gamers watch live-streamed gaming content.

That’s a heck of a big opportunity.

In general, I’d say this is a very interesting space in China to keep an eye on in the near-term — and is certainly one that Western rivals like Twitch and YouTube ought to keep abreast of, as well.

Tencent did not reply to our request for comment at the time of publication.

Sequoia Capital is a venture capital firm specializing in seed stage, early stage, and growth stage investments. The firm invests in all sectors with a focus on energy, financial services, healthcare services, internet, mobile, outsour… read more »

The development of Tencent and its products and services has profoundly influenced the way millions of Internet users communicate with one another socially and will continue to do so in the future. Since Tencent was founded in November… read more »

Founded in June 2011 and acquired by Amazon in 2014, Twitch is the world’s leading social video platform and community for gamers. Each month, more than 100 million gather to watch and talk about video games with more than 1.5 millio… read more »

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