One of YouTube’s biggest stars made his surprise debut on Chinese video service Bilibili Inc. Tuesday, a rare incursion by a global influencer into a massive internet arena that bans most Western social media.
Jimmy Donaldson, better known as MrBeast to his 230 million-plus YouTube subscribers, quickly got more than 3 million views and over 270,000 likes for a 90-second collage of some of his most viral clips. More than 5,000 viewers were watching it at around 6 p.m. Hong Kong time, roughly seven hours after posting.
“It’s going to be a fun ride,” Donaldson said in the video, asking Chinese viewers to tell him what they’d like to see. “I’m witnessing the history, hooray!” one user wrote on Bilibili, a domestic streaming platform that competes with the likes of ByteDance Ltd.’s Douyin.
Donaldson picked Bilibili for his Chinese online debut because it shares many similarities with YouTube, according to Eyal Baumel, who is managing MrBeast’s rollout in China. The YouTuber plans to launch accounts on other sites including Douyin, Kuaishou, Weibo and Xiaohongshu in coming months, Baumel said.
Donaldson posted his first video on Elon Musk’s X last week, suggesting he is branching out and experimenting with different services.
He’s not a complete unknown in China, where services from YouTube to Facebook and Instagram are either banned or closed off to local users. Chinese fans started an account for Donaldson on Bilibili last year that reposted some of his videos.
MrBeast’s team has taken over that account to post new content going forward, including future collaborations with Bilibili’s resident Chinese creators, Baumel said.
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