Youliaodao in the Era of Knowledge Economy: Go Big or Go Home?
In 2016, China witnessed a significant rise in the knowledge economy. Many users, who had been used to consuming information on the Internet for free, had become increasingly willing to pay for user-generated-content (UGC). Recognizing this emerging opportunity, Qiushibaike (QB), a well-established UGC platform with a focus on entertaining content, rolled out a new pay-for-knowledge product, namely Youliaodao (YLD), which focused on informational content. Instead of following the popular pay-for-knowledge product endorsed by eye-catching celebrities for hedonic needs, YLD differentiated itself by charging for high-quality UGC for practical problem-solving. QB needed to make a critical decision: Should the company support YLD with additional investments and promotion of its informational content, or should QB terminate YLD and return to the company's core competence area of promoting more entertaining content? How could YLD cope with the increased competition and overcome these obstacles? Dai Yao is affiliated with National University of Singapore.