After years of battling ByteDance on its home turf, Kuaishou, China’s second-largest short-video startup with a valuation of roughly $30 billion, is now challenging its rival in the US. According to media reports, Kuaishou released Zynn, a new short-video product specifically targeting the US market.
Zynn allows users to upload, edit and share short videos. However, unlike other conventional apps, Zynn pays users for watching content and recruiting other users. This model proved to be popular in the United States that was hit the hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic causing lockdowns and mass unemployment. According to data from Sensor Tower, within a month of Zynn’s release, the app became the most downloaded iOS app in the United States.
According to people familiar with the situation, the developer of Zynn is Owlii, a company that was acquired by Kuaishou. “Zynn is a product that we tailored for the North American market,” a Kuaishou spokesperson said. He noted that the company had accumulated 20 billion user-generated videos, asserting, “We think short-video is far from over.”
Kuaishou currently has more than 300 million daily active users (DAU) in China, making it the second-largest short-video application in China after Douyin, TikTok’s sister version. Douyin currently has 440 million DAU. According to Chinese media reports, in May this year, Kuaishou sued Douyin for “unfair competition”, accusing it of manipulating app store rankings.