Bilibili Unveils “Xiaohuangche” Enabling Users to Shop When Watching Live Streams

Chinese media outlet 36Kr reported on Tuesday that it learned from a source that Bilibili was preparing to launch its “Xiaohuangche” function on its live-streaming channel. The feature will enable users to buy goods while watching a live-stream.

The source says Bilibili has negotiated with some uploaders and brands and has basically completed the first batch of investment promotions. The company will try an A/B test in the next few weeks and will then make the function publicly available as soon as one week. Bilibili will provide traffic and support uploaders who take the lead in trying live commerce broadcasts.

Another source confirmed that the launch of Xiaohuangche is still in a small-scale alpha test.

WalktheChat quoted the data released by Kantar China, citing that, during this year’s China Double Eleven e-commerce war, live commerce surpassed PC shopping as the second largest shopping channel. However, Bilibili has always been cautious about live-streaming commerce and has not set up a paid shopping process in its live-streaming room. The company’s hosts mainly rely on video ads, audience rewards, and platform incentives for their monetization.

The launch of Xiaohuangche implies that Bilibili is gradually accepting the live-streaming of goods sales. In September of this year, Bilibili conducted live commerce tests with uploaders and hosts in several different fields, such as Liangfeng Kaze and Xie Anran.

Bilibili is expected to gradually relax the restrictions on product categories and consumption patterns. By the end of November, Bilibili has paid quite a bit to obtain payment licensing, suggesting the company will improve its internal transaction processing of the platform.

Even when Bilibili members can only buy 2D merchandise or performances tickets, Bilibili users have still shown strong purchasing power. In Q3 this year, the revenue from e-commerce and other businesses in Bilibili reached 730 million yuan, a year-on-year increase of 78%.

In addition to live commerce, Bilibili has made other in-roads in the e-commerce sphere. In 2018, Bilibili cooperated with Alibaba to launch a “Reward Plan”, in which uploaders can choose specific products and then associate them with their own videos. After fans have purchased goods and a receipt has been confirmed, the uploader will then generate a profit.

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The “Reward Plan” requires uploaders to have over 1,000 fans and to have uploaded original content within the last 30 days while passing a real-name authentication process. All of the goods associated with the uploader will be derived from Taobao while Bilibili will share the revenue. Bilibili will draw 50% for an individual uploader and 40% for MCN institutions with business agreements

In 2020, Bilibili intended to upgrade its “Reward Plan” and place the product’s link directly in the lower right corner of the live-streaming room in the form of a shopping bag. After clicking the link, users would be taken to a Taobao link to complete the order. However, it turns out this upgrade was limited to an alpha test and was not put into widespread use.