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Small Toys Could be Big Business For Youku, China’s Answer to YouTube

By Anniek Bao / Jul 23, 2020 03:52 PM / Business & Tech

China's answer to YouTube has taken the country's collectible toy trend to the next level, launching a live-streamed variety show where celebrities hype and sell them.

Alibaba-backed Youku debuted "The Luckiest Guy" on Tuesday, with the company boasting that it sold 10,000 collectible toys in just one minute, and made 400,000 yuan ($57,187) in the first 30 seconds.

The show is part of Youku's focus this year on attracting teen audiences, Wang Shuang of Youku Entertainment Center told Caixin. Most of the company's core users and consumers were born in the 1990s.

The toys, which are mostly figurines, are created by local artists and game designers, with Youku hoping to use its stable of celebrity talent to promote them.

In May, Youku established a sub-unit, UTS (Youku Toy Show), focused on collectible toys and merchandise.

The designer-toy industry is becoming big business in China. The sector's value surged from 6.3 billion yuan in 2015 to 20.7 billion in 2019, according to consultancy Frost & Sullivan, which predicts it will almost quadruple by 2024.

Read the full story on Caixin Global later today.

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