China’s social giant Tencent has merged its team in charge of the short-video app Huoguo with the Tencent Video team, said the company to 36Kr, after denying a report by Late Post on Friday indicating that the firm has dissolved the whole 150 Huoguo’s staff team.
Tencent said the merger aims to explore a new way to develop both the short videos and long videos ecosystem. Previously, Late Post reported that just some of the Huoguo team members have been repositioned into Tencent Video, while others were shifted to other positions within the company.
Huoguo, which can be literally translated as the Chinese cooking method known as ‘hot pot’, is a video editing tool incubated within Tencent Video that later spun off and developed itself as a short-video sharing platform hosting content generated by professional users. The app is currently still available for download in app stores such as Tencent’s Yingyongbao.
Tencent once had 15 short-video apps as it encouraged different teams to roll out similar products to compete with each other, under a scheme called horse-racing.
However, Tencent’s efforts over short-video apps have not generated the expected returns as ByteDance’s Douyin is the largest short-video app in China, and Kuaishou is the second biggest by daily active users (DAUs).
Douyin has had 320 million DAUs by July and Kuaishou, which has gathered 200 million DAUs by May, is seeking to hit 300 million DAUs before the 2020 Chinese New Year, which starts in late January.