Dynamic Marketing Communiqué

Videos + Globalization + AI = JOY! How this social media giant connects with consumers all over the world [Monday: Marketing Marvels]

March 22, 2021

Social media has several advantages.

One, it helps users connect with others in the online world.

Two, it enables sharing of different types of content that inform or entertain people.

Three, it allows business owners and marketers to reach a larger audience.

Aside from these things, are you aware that social media also gives online users a sense of relaxation and joy?

Similar to what this company is… and does!

JOYY Inc. is a Chinese global video-based social media company that was founded in April 2005.


From live streaming, short form video, social network, e-commerce, education, and Internet finance, the company develops a variety of social media platforms like YY LIVE, BIGO LIVE, Likee, HAGO, and YY Dating.

As of 2021, JOYY has over 7,000 employees who work with a mission:

“To Connect People and Enrich Their Lives Through Video”

What are 2 core strategies that enable the company to connect with its target market and expand international influence?

Globalization and Focusing on Artificial Intelligence (AI)!

JOYY is committed to accelerating its operations to become “one of the leading social networking companies in the world.”

Under the globalization strategy, the company’s social media platforms play a huge role in widening JOYY’s worldwide reach.

  1. YY LIVE

    As one of the oldest live streaming platforms in China, YY LIVE started as a portal for gamers, enabling them to voice chat over the Internet real-time.


    Later on, JOYY added the live streaming karaoke function into the app and it became well-known for live video hosts singing songs. YY LIVE’s content also developed into several types such as talk shows, dance challenges, and sports.

    This enabled the platform to reach a wider audience in China and around the world!

    As of 2021, YY LIVE has over 1 billion users and more than 34 million active monthly users.


    While most video-based social media platforms revolve around an idea of “consumption”―you watch, like, and share videos from famous personalities―BIGO LIVE gives its users an opportunity to enjoy more collaborative formats.


    For example: Streamers can participate in a joint livestream to broadcast a competition to fans, while viewers can decide who the winner will be by awarding more points to the person they are voting for.

    Viewers can also broadcast interesting conversations, debates, or fun hangouts via multi-participant video chats.

    Other in-app activities include the option to reward streamers with digital gifts that can be redeemed as cash!

    These features help BIGO LIVE’s famous streamers build a huge following based on a real sense of connection.

  3. Likee

    Just like TikTok, Likee is a social media app that provides users with powerful video editing tools, with the latest creative filters and effects.


    The social media platform’s mission is to “make it easy for everyone to create amazing videos and record memorable moments.”

    Since its launch in 2017, Likee is now one of the world’s most popular apps and has over 1.5 billion users in 150 countries.

  4. HAGO

    This app helps users meet and hang out with new friends in the online world.


    One of the interesting things about using this app?

    It enables you to make more friends while enjoying games and livestreams―it’s like getting the best of both worlds!

  5. YY Dating

    This app includes speed-dating functionalities that targets users between 18 and 30 years old.


    Upon logging in, users are required to choose from several “interest” tags that will direct them to a chat room with other users who picked the same tags.

    Through a matchmaker moderator, a participant is given a 3-minute speed dating session with another user. Partners can either type or use YY Dating’s voice chat features to talk to each other.

Let’s talk about JOYY’s other strategy: Focusing on Artificial Intelligence (AI).

As a social media company, one of JOYY’s goals is to create more diversified opportunities for users to interact with one another and have better experience through AI.

One step the company took to move towards that goal?

Signing a strategic partnership with another Chinese multinational technology company, Huawei Technologies in July 2020!


The partnership enables JOYY to build a joint innovation center, speed up research, and implement new business processes powered by 5G, AI, and cloud computing.

That’s not all!

Both companies have worked together to build an “immersive and interactive experience” for other enterprises and consumers all over the world.

The business strategy will provide one-stop audio and video ecosystem solutions to help enterprises create real-time audio and video calls, interactive live broadcasting, and other activities.

As stated by Lu Pengjun, the chief technology officer of JOYY:

“The company’s rollout of new infrastructure will accelerate the integration of new technologies such as 5G, cloud computing, and AI, thus bringing unprecedented opportunities to the Internet industry.”

In the past five years, JOYY Inc. has recorded revenues of:

  • USD 939.0 million in 2015
  • USD 1.2 billion in 2016
  • USD 1.7 billion in 2017
  • USD 2.4 billion in 2018
  • USD 3.7 billion in 2019

Clearly, JOYY’s core strategies prove to be effective in terms of helping the company achieve its business goals.

JOYY Inc.’s Earning Power: Valens Research vs. As-reported numbers

JOYY Inc. (YY:USA) makes for a great case study that we come back to regularly. One great reason?

The company has proven itself to be a better earning power generator than investors might think.

So, how well has YY been growing its business in the past years?

The research doesn’t lie—nor do the results. Earning power (the blue bars) continues to show results higher on average than what traditional databases show.


The blue bars in the chart above represent YY’s earning power (Uniform Return On Assets). YY has seen generally robust profitability. Its Uniform ROA ranged from 32% to 144% in the past nine years, or an average of 88%. Uniform ROA is at 80% in 2019.

The global ROA is just 6%.

The orange bars are the company’s as-reported financial information. If you relied on these numbers, you will see a company with terribly understated profitability. As-reported ROA (return on assets, a measure of earning power) only ranged from -14% to 14% in the past nine years. Its ROA in 2019 was only at 2%, forty times lower than its Uniform ROA in 2019.

That’s what you’ll see in Yahoo Finance, Google Finance, and most other databases.

The company’s stock price also performed better than the rest of the stock market over the decade, which we can see in the blue line in the chart below. Its returns have been well above the market.


The numbers show that YY has been doing well and making a profit.

As stated in JOYY’s website, the company’s vision is to:

“Be A Leader and Innovator in the Social Media Industry”

JOYY looks forward to becoming a “characteristic and globalized enterprise” in China’s Internet industry.

How does the company do that?

By constantly upgrading its technological advantages…

… and enhancing its influence through various social media apps to reach the “international sphere.”

In doing so, JOYY also accomplishes its mission―to establish genuine connections among consumers and enrich their lives through entertaining videos.

About The Dynamic Marketing Communiqué’s
“Monday Marketing Marvels”

Too often, industry experts and the marketing press sing the praises of some company’s marketing strategy.

…Only for the audience to later find out that their product was a flop, or worse, that the company went bankrupt.

The true ROI in marketing can’t be separated from the business as a whole.

What good is a marketing case study if one can’t prove that the company’s efforts actually paid off?

At the end of the day, either the entire business is successful or it isn’t. And the role of marketing is always paramount to that success.

Every Monday, we publish a case study that highlights the world’s greatest marketing strategies.

However, the difference between our case studies and the numerous ones out there, is that we will always make certain that the firm really did generate and demonstrate earning power worthy of study in the first place (compliments of Valens Research’s finance group).

By looking at the true earnings of a company, we can now rely on those successful businesses to get tips and insights on what they did right.

We’ll also study the greatest marketing fails and analyze what they did wrong, or what they needed to improve on. We all make our mistakes, but better we learn from others’ mistakes—and earlier, rather than later.

Hope you found this week’s marketing marvel interesting and helpful.

Stay tuned for next week’s Monday Marketing Marvels!


Kyle Yu
Head of Marketing
Valens Dynamic Marketing Capabilities
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