Live streaming, especially for content related to gaming, has been very popular throughout the world for the past few years, including in China. However, the country’s 3rd largest live streaming platform, PandaTV, recently announced it has gone bankrupt and dismissed all its employees. It is even more peculiar that PandaTV was started in 2015 by Wang Sicong, the flamboyant son of billionaire Wang Jianlin who is the 36th richest person in the world. Wang Sicong is also the owner of esports team Invictus Gaming. PandaTV is set to close on 18 March (unconfirmed), even thought it still has over 7 million monthly active users.
According to media outlets in China, reporters who visited PandaTV’s office were met with stream partners who claimed that they have not been paid for 5 months. PandaTV last got an investment in May 2017, and has since been unable to get more in the following 22 months. While it is unsure how much is the burn rate of PandaTV, sources have mentioned that other than heavy costs maintaining the platform, the massive internet bandwidth fees and handsome salaries for stream partners all contributed to the company’s downfall. Many streamers have become multi-millionaires in China, but it seems the trend is unsustainable.