Google has reportedly invested $76.8 million (RMB 500 million) in Chushou TV, based on news reports from Chinese media outlets. While Google is often noted as investing in various start-ups and companies, this one is of particular interest due to Chushou TV being a company that is more focused (at present) on China’s domestic market. Something Google has at times been at odds with, leading to the suggestion by local media that this could be one of the ways in which Google is now looking to re-engage with domestic customers in China.
Chushou TV, also referred to as “Tentacle Live” is a gaming live streaming platform which operates and caters to Chinese users and offers a number of features similar to Twitch. Although one of the fundamental differences between Chushou TV and Twitch is the former is mostly focused on the mobile gaming side of things. Therefore, offering mobile gamers a way to stream from their smartphone, the games they play on their smartphone, while they are playing them, and have others watch the drama unfold. Similar to live-streaming services in general, Chushou TV also offers various social-related features through its platform, such as the ability to chat with other users and the performers. According to the company’s website, Chushou TV has been active since July 2015 and since then has managed to accumulate over 100,000 gamers who broadcast via the service, as well as more than 10 million users who view mobile gamers in action through the service.
While the China-angle is something that local media has picked up on as a reason behind this investment, the reports have also looked to highlight that this is not the first time that Google has tried to invest in a game-related live streaming service and in particular drawing on parallels between this investment and how how Google (via YouTube) did look to acquire Twitch a number of years ago. While that deal never went through, it seems Google is keen to capitalize on the growing live-streaming gaming market. Although without any official confirmation coming through from Google on the investment, the full details on the funding, or why Google is backing Chushou TV in particular, remain fairly limited.