Kuaishou – The Weird Chinese Side Hustle of Mrs. The Poor Swiss

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Mrs. The Poor Swiss started a new side hustle recently. She started video streams on Kuaishou. It is a very popular app in China. She actually managed to get some money out of it. I wanted to talk about this because I have not seen any other blogger mention it. It could be an interesting side hustle for some people. It is a bit like Twitch but not related to gaming at all.

Even though the application is mostly used by Chinese people, there are more and more foreigners that start using it. Almost every people speak Chinese on it. But you can run a show in any language. The problem is that there will not be a lot of people to understand you if you do not speak Chinese.

I am not sure I understand the success of Kuaishou. But this is something that is really working in China. And it seems to be working for Mrs. The Poor Swiss as a side hustle. She actually helped me complete the facts on this article.

Kuaishou

Dumb game on Kuaishou
Dumb game on Kuaishou

Kuaishou is a very popular mobile application from Beijing, in China. It is a mobile application where you can share videos and stream your life live. The application has been backed by Tencent, one of the biggest Chinese internet company. Now, it has more than 700 million users today. And about 100 millions of them are also live streaming.

There are many things you can do in Kuaishou. People are sharing many videos on the application. You can only share videos of about one minute. You cannot share anything longer. These videos help you get followers. And then, you can do a show, a live stream, during which people can watch you and support you. Before you start live streaming, you need to be vetted by Kuaishou. People watching you can also chat and you can answer their question or respond to comments.

When you are in a show, you can also play games with other users on Kuaishou. When you are in a game, your supporters can donate to make you win. The one user that gets the most money from the followers wins. And generally, the loser needs to a dumb thing like doing pushups, singing, painting his face or many things like that.

There are also two other things people can do on Kuaishou. You can do a voice show. This is the same as a video show, but, you guessed it, without video, only the voice. It generally works worse than video shows but some people are doing it a lot. And finally, you can also post moments just like in Wechat.

History

Kuaishou was founded in 2011, in Beijing. In the beginning, it was only a picture converter and sharing app. It soon allowed to share videos as well. And they added live streaming later on.

There is something really interesting about Kuaishou history. It started in the poor rural areas of China. In the beginning, only poor users, mostly from third-tier cities and below, were using Kuaishou to show off their lives and get some money. It quickly became very popular. Once people saw the success of Kuaishou streamers, more and more people started to try it. Now, there many different people using the application. Not everyone is trying to make money with it, but the majority of people is.

Now, Kuaishou has been backed up by some of the biggest Chinese companies such as Tencent, Alibaba, and Baidu. They are really growing at a very strong pace.

Side hustle

People can get money on Kuaishou. You cannot get money by sharing videos. But people can give you money while you are doing a show. There are many ways your supporters can give you money.

It is kind of funny the way it works. The supporters can give you gifts. The system is way more complicated than it should be in my opinion. The currency used in Kuaishou is called gift (liwu in Chinese). Users are purchasing gifts with real money, RMB. One gift is one cent (1/100 RMB).

Then, the users can send gifts to the people streaming. You cannot send an arbitrary amount of money, you can only send some special gifts. There are 24 different kinds of gifts. The most you can send in one gift is 288 RMB. In that particular case, it will give you some advertisement for your channel. Your followers are paying for advertising you. How cool is that?

The other gifts are simply making some animation on your show. For instance, 66 RMB will show applause, 32.8 RMB will show an arrow flying to the sky and 20.8 RBM will display firecrackers. There are many things like this that act as gifts. The smallest gift is one cent of RMB.

One thing that is weird is that the gifts displayed will show a value ten times higher than the number of gifts. For instance, a 288 RMB is actually displayed as 2’888’000. So you have to divide by 10 to get the real amount of gifts. And then divide by one hundred to get the amount of RMB. I do not know why they did a system so complicated. But it is probably to desensitize people to spend money so that they spend more.

Kuaishou will take 50 percent of your earnings. They call it a commission. I think that is a lot. But it seems that for China it is not so bad. Kuaishou’s competitors are charging even more than this! So every time you get something from one of your supporters, you only get half of what was given. You can transfer your earnings either to your Wechat account or to your Alipay account.

Other money-making strategies

There is another way to get money on Kuaishou. Once you have a lot of viewers, you can get companies to pay you to advertise their products. This is a side business of the top performers from Kuaishou. Kuaishou does not integrate this into the application. But some performers get a lot of money from this business. That also means that Kuaishou will not take its cut on your earnings. That is probably the way to get the most money from Kuaishou. However, you need a lot of viewers for this.

If you are trying to sell things, you can directly link your Taobao, the local equivalent of eBay, shop from your show. That means that you can promote your items on your show and people can directly go to your shop. That is used by more and more local sellers.

Kuaishou users

Users on Kuaishou
Users on Kuaishou (Source: Kuaishou)

There are many types of Kuaishou users now. It seems almost everybody tries to be on Kuaishou. And you can almost anything on it.

As I said, it started with people in rural areas. These people were just trying to share their lives and earn some money. Many people in the big cities are a bit disconnected with the rural areas from China on which they still depend for food production. Speaking about food, there are many people giving cooking shows on Kuaishou. You can find almost every kind of cook styles in Kuaishou. There are many people doing shows while eating and sampling food. And of course, there are many Chinese gamers streaming while they are playing games!

There are also some sick people doing shows while they are in the hospital. They are trying to get some money to pay for their healthcare. There are also many people doing outside shows while they travel. They show new things to people. From what I know about Kuaishou, it is very popular to show other countries! And it is also very popular for them to interview and talk with foreigners.

From what I have seen, there are mostly a lot of girls on Kuaishou, singing, and dancing. And some are simply speaking for hours. And they get a lot of gifts from boys. Basically, you can probably find any kind of show on Kuaishou.

Some people get a lot of money from Kuaishou. There are many people living from that income.

Mrs. The Poor Swiss Results

Mrs. The Poor Swiss on Kuaishou
Mrs. The Poor Swiss on Kuaishou

Mrs. The Poor Swiss started doing shows in September of this year, about three months ago. She is doing shows where she sings and dances. And she is also speaking a lot about Switzerland. She is showing things that are particular to Switzerland and unknown to Chinese.

She has had growing followers and supporters counts. In these three months, she made about 21’000 RMB (around 3000 dollars). This is done about two months and a half. And she was blocked for some time during these months. I think it is really not bad. Some shows are very successful with several thousand RMB. And some shows are less successful with a few hundreds. But her show has been growing in followers and money.

She did not spend a lot of time on the shows themselves. But she spends a lot of time watching other shows and chatting with other users of Kuaishou.  There is also some work related to gathering new followers. If you count all this time, it is probably not a very good pay per hour. But it is still profitable!

One last thing I should mention is about censorship. Since the application is run from China, it is highly censored. It is much more limited in what you can show compared to U.S. equivalents. And some rules are very ambiguous. For instance, girls can make a show in a bikini but cannot show cleavage in normal clothing. And shorts and skirts cannot be too short. Moreover, you cannot talk about many subjects such as some political subject or sex.

If you violate one of these rules, they are going to block your account. The first time, they are going to block it for one day, then two days, all the way up to 1 week. After one week, you are risking get blocked for a few months or forever. If you do not get blocked for some time, the next time penalty will decrease. Mrs. The Poor Swiss got blocked a few times because of this, up to five days. This means that she could not earn any money on Kuaishou

Conclusion

Kuaishou can be a profitable side hustle. If you have a talent for performing or are able to speak for hours, you may be able to get enough followers to support you. You can basically show anything. If there is not already too many people showing the same things, you could well hit success on it.

You may have to speak Chinese if you want to get serious on Kuaishou. If you do not speak Chinese yet or you want to improve, you could try to use FluentU to learn. But foreigners speaking Chinese seem to be very appreciated on the application. Probably because there are still very few of them.

Personally, I really do not get Kuishou. I am not sure I understand why people give so much money on it. From what I have seen on Kuaishou, there is very little interesting content. However, it is working and Mrs. The Poor Swiss is liking it and getting some money out of it! Which is enough :)

What about you? Do you know Kuaishou? Do you have any weird side hustle?

Author: Mr. The Poor Swiss

Mr. The Poor Swiss is the main author behind thepoorswiss.com. In 2017, he realized that he was spending more and more every year, falling into the trap of lifestyle inflation. He decided to cut on his expenses and increase his income. This blog is relating his story and findings. In 2018, he saved more than 40% of his income. He made it a goal to reach Financial Independence. You can send Mr. The Poor Swiss a message here.

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