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ByteDance rival Kuaishou sharpens focus on fast-growing real-estate video content with new round of restructuring

Kuaishou Technology, operator of one of China's most popular short video apps, is planning a new round of business reorganisation, according to Chinese media outlet Jiemian, as the Beijing-based firm accelerates its monetisation push after swinging back to profit.

The company is looking to change department leadership and restructure some of its current businesses to sharpen their focuses, including the team in charge of the main Kuaishou platform, according to a recent report from Jiemian, an outlet affiliated with state-backed Shanghai United Media Group, citing anonymous sources.

Under those plans, Kuaishou's main business team would also be in charge of the local consumption unit, which will be renamed the recruitment and property unit, the report said.

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Meanwhile, the company will set up an author and content ecosystem unit to support short-video content creators, according to the report.

Kuaishou did not immediately respond to a request for comment sent on Friday.

If true, the reshuffle shows that the firm is hoping to ride on its financial turnaround to pave the way for growth in the coming years, according to Zhang Yi, founder and chief analyst at market consultancy iiMedia.

Kuaishou last month reported another profitable quarter after posting its "first-ever group-level net profit" as a listed company in the June quarter.

The reported business overhaul may help Kuaishou bolster some of its most promising new businesses, according to Zhang.

"Kuaishou is optimising and refining areas with further growth prospects, which is necessary to support their future growth," said Zhang.

Those areas include real-estate live streams and videos.

Kuaishou said more than 5,500 properties worth over 6.9 billion yuan in total were sold through its platform just between September 6 and October 10, compared with over 10 billion yuan in the full year of 2022.

Some of these sales were made by property agents who were recruited and trained by Kuaishou to appear in live streams and short videos.

As of the end of last year, more than 100 million of its users had watched real estate-related videos or tuned into live-streaming sessions of property sales, data from Kuaishou showed.

Su Hua, co-founder and former chairman of Kuaishou. Photo: Handout alt=Su Hua, co-founder and former chairman of Kuaishou. Photo: Handout>

The company, whose largest rival is Douyin - ByteDance's TikTok equivalent in China - has undergone a series of organisational and leadership changes in the past few years.

Co-founder Su Hua stepped down as chairman in October after passing the chief executive role to long-term collaborator Cheng Yixiao two years ago, further distancing himself from the company that he had steered for almost a decade.

That followed a series of business changes at Kuaishou, including the establishment of a 12-member management committee in August and a business ecosystem committee in the following month, as well as a major shake-up affecting its e-commerce and monetisation teams.

The latest round of adjustments appeared to involve mid-level management and fall within normal "organisational structural optimisation", said Zhang Xueru, equity analyst at 86Research.

It would not involve the e-commerce and advertising businesses, so the overall impact on the company would be smaller compared to previous changes, she said.

This article originally appeared in the South China Morning Post (SCMP), the most authoritative voice reporting on China and Asia for more than a century. For more SCMP stories, please explore the SCMP app or visit the SCMP's Facebook and Twitter pages. Copyright © 2023 South China Morning Post Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved.

Copyright (c) 2023. South China Morning Post Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved.