China's biggest live-streaming platform DouYu files for $500 million IPO in the US

China's biggest live-streaming platform DouYu files for $500 million IPO in the US

Chinese live-streaming company DouYu has filed for an initial public offering (IPO) in the US.

The platform is supported by gaming behemoth Tencent, and the IPO is set to be worth up to $500m. DouYu is essentially China's answer to Twitch, and its primary focus is on video game live-streaming. 

Live-streaming is a fast-rising market in the region and companies like Tencent are rushing to invest. Other tech conglomerates hopping on the trend include Alibaba Group Holding and Baidu Inc. 

Streaming competition

DouYu is the second streaming platform to launch an IPO in the US. Last May, competitor Huya raised $180m from its own offering. Huya also counts Tencent among its serious investors. 

However, DouYu currently has a more attractive monopoly on video games. According to the filing, the platform has exclusive rights to broadcast 29 tournaments in China, which includes major events for League of Legends, DOTA 2 and PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds. 

It also boasts an average of 153.5 million monthly active users alongside 4.2 million quarterly paying users. DouYu also doesn't have to worry about Twitch as a competitor either - the platform was banned in China last year.

Non-exclusive backing

The filing does mention Tencent's flitting and states that the tech giant may not be completely devoted to DouYu.

“Tencent may devote resources or attention to the other companies it has an interest in, including our direct or indirect competitors. As a result, we may not fully realize the benefits we expect from the strategic cooperation with Tencent," it reads.

"Failure to realize the intended benefits from the strategic cooperation with Tencent, or potential restrictions on our collaboration with other parties, could materially and adversely affect our business and results of operations.”

But investment from Tencent is not to be scoffed at. In 2018, the company was responsible for 15 per cent of global games revenue. It made $19.7bn, a 9 per cent increase on the year prior, beating the likes of Sony, Microsoft and Apple.

Tencent also could be gearing up to launch a gaming phone, which will further solidify its spot as a global leader in video games.


Danielle Partis is editor of and former editor of She was named Journalist of the Year at the MCV Women in Games Awards 2019, as well as in the MCV 30 under 30 2020. Prior to Steel Media, she wrote about music and games at Team Rock.