Combining quiz show entertainment and cash prizes, HQ Trivia was the surprise app sensation of 2017. And now a Chinese tech giant is jumping on the bandwagon.
Toutiao, a US$20 billion news app with 120 million readers each day, this week updated its mobile app to incorporate Millionaire Heroes, a live and interactive online trivia show which runs several times per day.
I joined the 1 pm quiz within Toutiao, where US$7,800 was up for grabs. Despite being working hours, the viewer count as the livestream started was at 2.5 million. Five minutes in as the first question hit the screen, just over 3 million people were tuned in.
Its quiz (right) looks very similar to HQ Trivia’s (left). On this first question, 998,000 Chinese viewers got the right answer – though I was one of the near 20,000 people to choose wrongly.
This is the Millionaire Heroes host, introducing the show’s first question:
If a news app seems an odd place for a game show, there is an explanation. A representative from the company behind Toutiao, Bytedance, told Tech in Asia this afternoon the Millionaire Heroes quiz started earlier in the year inside its spin-off Xigua Video app, and now the startup has put the exact same game show inside the news app. The spokesperson said nobody was available to take further questions about its trivia quiz.
Bytedance has a growing entertainment empire with Musical.ly, Xigua Video, Flipagram, Topbuzz, and Tik Tok.
The quiz is limited to friend referrals via an invitation code. Dishing out more referrals seems to get you more hearts, allowing you to answer more questions.
Bytedance’s reported US$20 billion valuation after raising US$1.1 billion in funding in the past few years is mainly due to the rocketing growth of Toutiao, but its other apps and acquisitions shows the Beijing-based firm wants to be a global force in web-based leisure and entertainment.
Converted from Chinese yuan. Rate: US$1 = RMB 6.42.
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