Bilibili’s IPO marks a milestone in ACGN culture

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A well-known ACG (Animation, Comic and game) Danmaku website Bilibili.com was listed on NASDAQ, bringing pressure on its competitor, AcFun. The success of the video platform embodies the blossom of  generation Z and ACGN culture in China. 

Bilibili’s IPO

At 9:30 p.m. of March 28th, a well-known ACG Danmaku website Bilibili.com was listed on NASDAQ exchange (stock code: BILI). With 11.5 dollars per share, its total market value reaches 4830 million US dollars.

Its opening price on the first day is 9.8 dollars, which is 14.78% lower than the issuing price.

The occasion is witnessed by the CEO/chairman of Bilibili Mr. Chen Rui as well as the company’s senior executives and famous uploaders.

In the past eight years, hundreds of millions of users visited Bilibili’s website and App while two million users became uploaders, posting as many as 19.7 million videos altogether, according to Chen in his open letter.

From its prospectus, gaming agency and operation, live broadcast and online advertisement are the main sources of income for Bilibili. In 2017, its gaming business generated 83.4% of revenue, totaling 20,580 million RMB. The online games Fate/grand Order and Azur Lane are the two main money makers.

Azur Lane

“I believe most of you must be surprised at our prospectus. You might think that Bilibili is actually a gaming company in the disguise of a video platform.” Chen said. However, Bilibili is never a gaming company, with its gaming business as a major approach for commercialization reliant on its large user base.

One hour after going listed, Bilibili began to give out bonuses to users of six online games including Fate/grand Order and Azur Lane.

In the fourth quarter of 2017, active users of Bilibili reached 71.8 million, with mobile app users spending 76.3 minutes on average each day. Bilibili’s prospectus named 81.7% of its users as the generation Z, namely the Chinese users born between 1990 to 2009. They are now the major driving forces of entertainment spending and trendsetters, whom the platform aims to serve.

Bilibili vs. AcFun

Established in June, 2009, Bilibili is already eight years old. Its founder ⑨bishi (Xu Yi) used to be a user of AcFun (a similar video platform), who set up the previous version of Bilibili -mikufans due to the unbearable crashes of AcFun from time to time.

Through years of rivalry in both the virtual and real world, Bilibili has risen sharply with the fall of AcFun, with active users and commercial capacities of the former exceeding the latter remarkably.

Although AcFun has been defeated by Bilibili in numerous ways, there are no other comparable competitors in this business up till now. With similar user base, the two have been working side by side, triggering new possibilities on the market. However, more uncertainties lie ahead for AcFun after Bilibili’s going listed.

Bothering news for uploaders

Some bothering news came for Bilibili’s uploaders recently. Just a week ago, Chinese State Administration of Radio and Television issued an urgent order, banning the illegal ripping or editing of videos and audios, and laying down strict regulations on re-editted videos uploaded by internet users.

This is particularly annoying for Kichiku video uploaders. Some of them still upload their videos like before, and others such as “Burn after Reading” (he posted a lot of videos on movies) removed their work immediately. The Kichiku section is still active, but somewhat dimmer.

No matter what would happen to those Kichiku videos and numerous uploaders, the advertisement of Bilibili on the large screen of NASDAQ and cosers at Time Square are the best proofs of the blossoming generation Z and ACGN culture.

This article originally appeared in ifanr and was translated by Pandaily.
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