China’s e-commerce giant Alibaba last week trialling its own live-streaming video service to take on Netflix, it seems that a perhaps equally-large story from over the weekend was swept under the carpet: the announcement (via Chinese microblogging site Weibo) of an upcoming Twitch competitor called Panda TV.
Twitch is the hugely popular live-streaming video platform for gamers that Amazon bought in September last year for $970 million. The service, with more than 1.5 million broadcasters, is already trying to boost its presence in Taiwan, meaning it’s clearly very interested in a Chinese viewership.
But Twitch will also have to be increasingly mindful of newly-launched rival YouTube Gaming — the Google-backed service launched at the end of August. So it certainly has its hands full right now.
As to Panda TV, it’s not just the Twitch comparison that’s notable, it’s the person (or family) behind it — none other than Wang Sicong, local social media celebrity and son of China’s wealthiest man, Wang Jianlin (reported to be worth $26.5 billion, according to Forbes).