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Daxue Talks transcript #63: Users’ changing behavior on Bilibili during the coronavirus outbreak

Users’ changing behavior on Bilibili

Find here Daxue Talks episode 63. In this interview, Miro Li discusses how users’ behavior is changing on Bilibili during the coronavirus outbreak in China.

Full transcript below

How did BiliBili users respond to coronavirus?

At the beginning, Bilibili users on other platforms also share a lot of news related to covid-19 outbreak and they also share a lot of instructions to prevent this disease and also how to disinfect, how to wear the masks. So, this is similar to other platforms. We see some instructional videos provided by BiliBili content producers to talk about covid-19 outbreak and later on, more and more users start to talk about how to have entertainment activities at home or how to have some DIY food or DIY cooking videos, and this is what people pay more attention to later.

Actually during this outbreak, BiliBili was also appointed by the Shanghai government as the official platform for the students in Shanghai to take online courses. We see a lot of teachers from elementary school or high school starting to do online courses. Whether it’s a pre-recorded course or a live streaming course, they started to do online courses on BiliBili and the students in Shanghai are required to take this course on BiliBili. During this time actually, a lot of BiliBili users are starting to study on this platform or watch some educational videos here. I think this may be the major difference from other platforms.

BiliBili generally targets Gen-Z consumers, how do brands appeal to Gen-Z during covid-19? Can you share some examples?

I think there are some very interesting examples here. First one I want to share is from DingTalk, which we know is a working app created by Alibaba. Normally it’s the people who use it during work, but now you need to work at home, so you will use this app to talk to or to coordinate with your colleagues or your clients. During the covid-19, the DingTalk app actually became on online course platform because a lot of students have to take online courses on DingTalk app and their teachers would do live streaming courses on this app. It’s very funny because we know that students actually resent taking online course and it’s hard to concentrate at home and at times the connections are off and DingTalk has bugs. It turns out that a large group of students go to the online store to give DingTalk the app a one star review, and give negative or some very sarcastic comments. Then, to reach Gen-z (ers), DingTalk posted a video on BiliBili and asked for their forgiveness and better reviews from the students. So, in the video the lyrics actually says “I sincerely beg you to spare my life, you are all my papa – please stop giving me one-star reviews.” This is a very funny video, you have to check it out. And this apology video went viral and now it has more than 20 million views on BiliBili alone and it has created a massive buzz across all the social media in China. And now DingTalk account is actually a famous corporate account on BiliBili and it has more than 1 million followers there. So, you can see how they reach Gen-Z is very interesting, in a very funny way.

Therefore, some corporate accounts don’t really post very official, very formal content. Instead, they use Gen-z language to talk to Gen-z, so this is very funny. We also see some other brands, for example Xiaomi, a Chinese mobile phone brand. During covid-19, they can’t really have an offline event, so at that time they were launching a new phone and moved this press conference online. They were live streaming on BiliBili for the whole press conference, and this is the first time they’ve done this and during this time, they also hosted a 72 hour non-stop live streaming for their new products while giving out a lot of free gifts during the live streaming. Xiaomi is actually the first one to do this, and after that we see other brands like Huawei also have the live streaming press conference on BiliBili. We even see McDonalds, like two weeks ago, were launching a new product and they also did live streaming on BiliBili. So, these are also very interesting cases.

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