Guagua: Exploring China’s Online Video Community ‘Goldmine’

Guagua: Exploring China’s Online Video Community ‘Goldmine’

"Guagua is a Chinese online video social platform similar to a web-based karaoke bar with millions of users in the country’s smaller cities. As of June 2013, Guagua had more than 75 million registered users and revenues of 580 million yuan ($90.6 million). The company is working to diversify by building communities focused on finance and education.

Co-founders Dong Guanjie and Zhang Hong Tao are among the earliest experimenters in the interactive online video community in China. They started their venture with an audio chat room early in 2003. With the rise of faster online technology and more affordable bandwidth, their chat room evolved into an online video community.

Enlight Media, one of the biggest entertainment companies in China, invested 75 million yuan ($11.7 million) in Guagua last October. The objective, says Dong in an interview with Knowledge@Wharton, is to integrate online and offline entertainment resources, offer opportunities to grass-roots stars and improve the tastes of the video community.

Dong also notes that content management is a big challenge. The online video community has to survive on self-regulation, and there is the temptation to cross the line of decency in certain programs to ramp up the numbers. That has, in the past, invited government action.

But video communities in Tier II and Tier III cities will continue to flourish because of the lack of entertainment alternatives in those areas, says Dong, who calls these areas “a goldmine [in China] that has never been seriously explored.”

An edited transcript of the conversation follows" at the link below:

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