Kuaishou’s international business leader left the company
Kuaishou, the maker behind one of China’s most popular short video streaming apps, has recently lost its international business unit chief, Tony Qiu, according to Bloomberg.
The reasons for Tony Qiu’s departure are unknown. Before working for Kuaishou, Mr. Qiu worked as the leader of international business at Didi, the ride-hailing app. He also previously worked at investment firms such as Bain Capital and Morgan Stanley. Qiu joined Kuaishou in 2020, and was in charge of expanding Kuaishou’s global market in places such as Southeast Asia, the Middle East, and Latin America. Qiu’s accomplishments at Kuaishou include inking a licensing deal with Warner Music Group to make WMG’s artists’ music available on all of Kuaishou’s overseas products.
Qiu joined Kuaishou amid Kuaishou’s hiring spree for its international business unit. According to a report by 36kr, a Chinese tech media, Kuaishou has been recruiting talents abroad from the likes of Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Google, Uber, and Airbnb since 2018. Kuaishou has rolled out many products catering to the overseas market, such as video sharing platform Kwai and Zynn, music video editor platform MV Master, community-based short video platform UVideo and VStatus, as well as picture sharing based social platform Lolita.
Eyeing the global market, Kuaishou is in an uphill battle with its domestic rival ByteDance, the maker of Douyin and Tiktok. In terms of globalization, Kuaishou and ByteDance started almost at the same time, but now ByteDance’s TikTok has been proven to be a success for being one of the most social popular apps in markets like North America. Meanwhile, Kuaishou currently has no dominant apps in major markets except for China. Kuaishou’s globalization mostly focuses on markets that ByteDance has not conquered yet, such as Brazil, the Middle East, and the Arab states.
Tony Qiu’s departure from Kuaishou comes at a time when Kuaishou is toning down its international business. ‘Kuaishou has toned down its overseas marketing campaigns, signaling to investors who have concerns about the bottom line that it will focus on user retention rather than acquisition,’ according to Bloomberg.