Live streaming has changed – this has effected 6.18

6.18 Shopping Festival livestreaming has changed. In 2022 6.18 in China has been seen as the toughest one ever, especially for beauty category – Alibaba down -20% in beauty. However livestreaming e-commerce still contributed 1/5 of total sales and achieved 125%+ YOY growth (total EC YOY growth is only 13%).

We do see big changes and new trends in livestream e-commerce from this 6.18. Here we have pulled out three important trends:

Trend One: The Decentralization of livestreamers and platforms

For a long time (in China e-commerce terms) Livestreaming was focused on Taobao through several top-performing KOLs

But that has all changed:


Since September 2021 the top livestreamers have been dropping like flies.

The scale of these streamers was huge:

In 2021 double 11, the sales contribution from Austin+Viya was 3/4 of total Tmall livestream ecommerce sales

And Beauty was a huge part of their sales

Austin Li : At 2021 double 11, 1st pre-sale day total sales is 1.7 billion USD, among which 1.2 billion USD is beauty products.

Viya: At 2021 double 11, 1st pre-sale day total sales is 1.27 billion USD, among which 0.5 billion USD is beauty products.

All three are now offline and not streaming. Both Viya and Cherrie were caught out for tax evasion and banned. Austin Li stopped livestreaming after showing a product in the shape of a tank around the time of the Tiananmen Square anniversary in June 2022.

These livestreamers each pulled in 10s to 100s of millions of viewers for their livestreams. So their disappearance has resulted in consumer traffic being decentralized to more middle level livestreamers.

Increasing regulation & inspection from local authorities has meant a lot of pressure on these top livestreamers.

All this brings opportunity for smaller livestreamers but also for some traffic to be redistributed to brands’ own stores to watch their livestreaming.

2) Platform:

Due to the “absence” of mega livestreamer Austin Li in the 2nd half of the 2022 6.18,Taobao Livestream has fallen from the No.1 place.

Douyin Livestream has become No.1, followed by Kuaishou.

Douyin platform contributed about 50% sales of total livestream e-commerce with a 95% YOY growth. And Kuaishou achieved 515% yoy growth.

Both these short video platforms are putting a big focus on ecommerce and starting to really disrupt Tmall’s stronghold.

Trend Two: Moving from relying on KOL coop to brands doing their own live stream

Brand’s own livestream is more and more popular. Platforms are supporting traffic to brand store livestreaming. During this 6.18, multiple platforms have seen a boost in sales growth from brand’s own livestream.

On Douyin platform, the sales is 7x. vs LY. It’s estimated by 2023, KOL livestreaming sales will be equally split with brand own livestreaming sales.

So it’s important for brands to find the right strategy to do the their own livestreaming operations to drive sales.

Trend Three: Content is king – the evolution of Livestreaming

During this 6.18, a livestream e-commerce platform called “Oriental Selection” rapidly gained high awareness among Chinese consumers. This platform was just founded at end of 2021 by the previous nationwide famous English tutoring institution “New Oriental Education”.

In 2021 the government cracked down on the extracurricular tutoring industry that had become gigantic but was putting a huge amount of pressure on students. This destroyed an industry overnight this platform and the livestreamers are one example of them quickly reinvented themselves.

The star livestreamer Dong Yu Hui who used to be an English tutor. Now he is using his unique bilingual and intellectual style gained him 20 million followers in six months.

Although currently Oriental Selection mainly sells agricultural products, the phenomenal result shows new scenario and possibility for livestream e-commerce that is to create good quality content to attract the interest of consumers then to convert sales.

We will see livestreaming getting even more diverse as this year progresses

Suggested Article to read & Full interviews to watch:

If you want to know more about changes in the market. You may want to read the full article of my interview with Iris Chan entitled Chinese Consumers Are Constantly Changing.

You may also want to watch the full podcast interview on my Youtube Channel.

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