From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Bilibili main page June 2014.png
Screenshot of Bilibili's main page, showing thumbnails of popular videos.
Type of site
Video sharing
Available inChinese
OwnerBilibili Inc. (company legal name in Latin)
Shanghai Hode Information Technology Co., Ltd.
Created byXu Yi (⑨bishi)
Alexa rankIncrease 39 (June 2019)[1]
RegistrationOptional (required for uploading, liking videos and posting comments)
Users560,000 (October 2012),over 31.6 million registered user (December 2017)
Launched14 January 2010; 9 years ago (2010-01-14)
Current statusOnline (website and service)
App Stores (mobile APP)

Bilibili (stylized as bilibili, Chinese: 哔哩哔哩; pinyin: bìlībìlī; nicknamed B站, literally "the B site", NASDAQBILI) is a video sharing website themed around animation, comic, and game (ACG) based in China, where users can submit, view, and add commentary subtitles on videos. Bilibili uses an Adobe Flash or HTML5 player, which can be manually switched, to play user submitted videos hosted by either itself or third-party sources, while featuring a real-time overlaying subtitle system for interactive playback experience.

With the fast growing number of visitors on Bilibili, it decided to expand their functions. Besides the dominant themes, now Bilibili offers videos of various fields, including music, dancing, science and technology, entertainment, movie, drama, fashion, daily life and even advertisement films. Also Bilibili provides a live streaming service where audiences can interact with streamers. Usually the topic is about anime, content creating, game strategy and so on.

Other than videos, Bilibili also offers games, mostly ACG (animation, comic and game) themed mobile games, such as the Chinese version of Fate/Grand Order.

Inspired by similar video sharing websites Nico Nico Douga and AcFun, the founder of Bilibili, Xu Yi (Chinese: 徐逸; pinyin: xúyì, known as "⑨bishi" on the internet), created a prototype website named after college graduation in three days. He relaunched the website in 24 January 2010 with the name Bilibili.[2] Later in 2011, he founded a startup, Hangzhou Huandian Technology,[3] to manage the development and operation of Bilibili.


Bilibili was founded by Xu Yi in 2009.[4] At the time, Xu Yi was an AcFun user and wanted to create a site better than AcFun.[5] He spent three days and created a prototype website named as a fandom community of Hatsune Miku.[2] As it grew, he reshaped the website to specialize in video sharing and launched it on 14 January 2010 with the name Bilibili (, which is the nickname of the protagonist Mikoto Misaka in the anime A Certain Scientific Railgun for her electric superpower.[6] Bilibili also names many of its features with reference to this anime, such as to give a "coin" to a user as contribution, which is the reference to Mikoto Misaka's preference to use coins to shoot her electricity. On top of that, Bilibili celebrates Mikoto Misaka's birthday on its homepage every 2 May.

In 2011, Bilibili's domain name was revoked because of the domain registrar enforcing .us restrictions. As a result, Bilibili switched to on 25 June 2011. Afterwards, in late 2011, Xu Yi founded the startup, Hangzhou Huandian Technology (Chinese: 幻电; pinyin: huàndiàn; literally: 'fantastic electricity') based in Hangzhou, Zhejiang, for better development and operation of Bilibili.

In April 2012, Bilibili obtained an agreement with Nico Nico Douga to webcast latest Chinese-subbed episodes of the newly airing anime Fate/Zero starting from 7 April.[7] However, this program was censored and ordered to stop after three episodes, for being reported as unauthorized operation of Internet audio-video broadcasting services. Its operating company Hangzhou Huandian Technology was administratively penalized and fined 10,000 yuan by local government.[8]

In August 2012, Bilibili started to display logos on its homepage to indicate affiliation with the state-owned Shanghai Media Group and share the use of various content provider licenses in hope to avoid future legal risk. Meanwhile, anonymous visitors to got redirected to a subdomain of Shanghai Media Group Broad Band subsidiary (

In March 2018, Bilibili filed for a U.S. IPO of up to $4 billion with the SEC with plans to list on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).[9] The company listed on the NASDAQ on 28 March 2018.[10]

In September 2019 Bilibili was discovered to be illegally renting servers in Taiwan. The Taiwanese National Communications Commission required provider Chief Telecom to cease renting space to Bilibili immediately after the issue was disclosed by a Taiwan based think tank. Chinese VOD services are not allowed to operate in Taiwan due to national security concerns.[11]


In April 2019, a repository called "Bilibili website backend codes", with a large number of user names and passwords, was published on GitHub. The repository, which had more than 50 MB of source code, was taken down by GitHub due to "excessive use of resources". The repository amassed more than 6,000 stars in just a few hours. Copies of the repository, however, could still be found on GitHub and other platforms. Bilibili responded that the leaked codes were from an older version of their website, and that they had taken "defensive steps to ensure the accident won't compromise user data security".[12]


Besides hosting video content, Bilibili's core feature is a real-time commentary subtitle system that displays user comments as streams of moving subtitles overlaid on the video playback screen, visually resembling a danmaku shooter game. These subtitles are called "danmaku[13][14] " (Chinese: 弹幕; pinyin: dànmù; literally: 'barrage'). Such subtitles are simultaneously broadcast to all viewers in real-time, creating a chat room experience in which users feel like watching and playing together with others. This system offers users various subtitle controls, including style, format, and movement. Users are also fond of creating translated and soramimi subtitles, or special effects with carefully formed subtitles.[6] The site also offers a feature called "advanced subtitles", where users can use ECMAScript-based API to control video playback, dynamically change danmu subtitles and draw shapes onto the screen.But now some features are only available on Flash Players,which HTML5 Players are not worked very well on that.[15][16] This functionality is only available with the video poster's permission.

Bullet comments are easy to post, but due to the immense number of users and diverse user quality, only registered users with cell phone number tied to the account and a user test passed may post bullet comments. Users may type their thoughts (regulations should be abided; for example, no bullet comments that excessively and meaninglessly occupy screen space and disturb normal watching is prohibited) in the type bar under the video, and these comments will show up on the video, usually moving from right to left. If viewers do not want to be distracted by bullet comments, they can turn it off anytime easily. There are three types of bullet comments offered in Bilibili, rolling comments, top comments and bottom comments. Each comment is limited to 20 characters and visitors cannot comment the normal comment page(located below the video). For normal registered users, they are free to choose bullet comments from small to big size, limited of 220 characters. Also they can change the color of the bullet comments and they can comment on the video's actual comment page. For “professional” bullet comment users, they can choose “extra small” and “extra big” bullet comment. They can also choose to move the comment from left to right (normally it goes from right to left). The blogger of the video has the right to clear or save all bullet comments.

Some people find it annoying to watch a video with bullet comments all over the screen because there are so much that they cannot even watch the actual video. With some heat videos like Sherlock, there are more than 8,000 bullet comments.[17] However, people also argue that bullet comment allows users to share opinion and draw discussion easily, which creates a unique chat-room environment that makes viewer feel like they are watching the video with the whole world. Bullet comments became a special culture and language in Bilibili. One commonly seen is "high energy alert" (高能预警), which is a kind of spoiler, to tell the audience of the coming climax or some exciting, terrible scenes.[18]

However, The Ministry of Culture of China criticized bullet comment for allowing and spreading vicious comments in the video. Therefore, they will keep an eye on the bullet-comment system and they will try everything to stop spreading negative energy on internet.[19]

Bilibili is experimenting with HTML5 video playback technology,[20] and has released smartphone apps for playback on iOS, Android and Windows Phone.[21][22]

Bilibili also has an API, enabling third-party developers to access website content including video lists, comments, "danmaku" subtitles, special topics and airing programs. The API service is open for signing up. It is rate-limited and requires developer keys for authentication.[23]


Bilibili's operating company consists of a team of nine members all versed in the Japanese language and culture. Two are web developers, including Xu Yi himself, and the rest are website editors and moderators. Bilibili's service is completely free. Its main revenue comes from webpage advertisement and affiliate marketing.[2]


Bilibili is not open for one minute registration like others, but does not usually require payment. Most content on Bilibili is free for anonymous viewing, while some are member-only. Select serial videos are also available under the "Chengbao" policy, in which case members who pay get access. Membership is required for submitting videos or comments. Bilibili limits membership availability to balance the quality of its user base and moderation capacity. Opportunity of signing up is available occasionally. Starting from March 2013, the website is open for signing up with a limited number of invitation codes sent by existing users. After registration, users need to complete a 100 question examination to become a premium member, with questions that cover mostly ACG areas. The level of difficulty is so high that users call it "The Chinese Otaku High-school Exam". After 19 May 2015, Bilibili lowered the difficulty to 50 questions, with 20 consisting of proper manner of commentary posting, and 30 knowledge questions on areas of choice. After 26 February 2017, Bilibili restarted its 100 question exam, with 60 as passing score.[24] For senior members (level 5 and 6), invitational codes can be purchased, 1 and 2 per month respectively; they can be used to invite new members into bilibili.


Bilibili has its official mascots elected by the community, Bili-tans, named "22" and "33".[25]

Bilibili has also established affiliated communities: Corari (Chinese: 协作乡; literally: 'Hometown of Collaboration', currently offline), a collaboration project founding community; DrawYoo, a creative drawing community; The Ninth Channel, a support forum for Bilibili.

As of 2015, Bilibili has over 50 million users, with 75% of them under the age of 24.[26]

Expansion Strategies[edit]

Offline Strategies[edit]


In October 2016, Bilibili announced that they have sponsored Shanghai Sharks (of the China Basketball Association (CBA)), owned by Yao Ming. Bilibili chose to sponsor Shanghai Sharks primarily due to the fact they both originated from Shanghai.[27] It was Bilibili's first time stepping into the sports industry as well as the first mainstream attempt of combining ACG culture with basketball, attracting the younger generation's attention towards sports and setting up a modernized and symbiotic image for the basketball industry.

Shanghai Sharks changed its name to Shanghai Bilibili.[28]

Esports ventures[edit]

League of Legends[edit]

In December 2017, Bilibili purchased an esports team originally called IM for League of Legends and it was renamed as Bilibili Gaming(BLG for abbreviation). BLG acted as a brand new team to play in the Tencent League of Legends Pro League (LPL) in China since S8 sports competition season of League of Legends World Championship(LOLWC).[29]

In January 2018, Bilibili purchased broadcast right and right-on-request for spring competition season of LPL, LOLWC, and League of Legends Rift Rivals[30] of S8. Hereto, Bilibili moved forward to establish an overall distribution of "broadcast-teams-offline sports events" in the sports industry.[31]


In September 2018, Bilibili purchased a team in the Overwatch League for the city of Hangzhou. The new team, the Hangzhou Spark, is taking part in the 2019 season.[32]



The first time Bilibili cooperated with the biggest Chinese online shopping website Taobao was in December 2014 as part of the 12 December Online Shopping Festival. Bilibili's logo appeared on the Taobao's front page. Users could shoot danmaku to express their ideas. Bilibili's staff had reportedly already been stationed in the Taobao Project office.[33]


On 13 March 2015, Durex released a longest-ever online advertisement on Bilibili website, which lasted for three hours. The advertisement was aimed at buyers purchasing presents for White Day. The advertisement campaign was for promoting the new Durex Air and its concept supermarket idea, which attracted 100 million audiences who watched it online and sent their comments by danmaku. It is a new kind of creative digital marketing method acting as a performance art that satisfies young people's curiosity.[34]


On 10 May 2015, Xiaomi held a product launch for its new series Xiaomi Max. During the conference, Bilibili acted as its live broadcast platform that lasted for 19 days. The audience totally reached 39.54 million during the period and comments on it broke through 3.17 billion.[35] The broadcast was to test and demonstrate the battery life of Xiaomi Max by checking the smartphone once an hour to see if it was still powered on. Although it was thought to be a most boring ever live show, still, many audiences kept watching it till the end of the broadcast.[36] It is a cooperation between an online and offline brand that makes different marketing tools integrated to bring along a most effective marketing and advertising campaign.


The group companies have published games for Chinese market.

MICA Team / Sunborn Network Technology

(Wuhu) Sharejoy Network Technology Co.Ltd[37]
Bilibili HK Limited[37]
Shanghai Hode Information Technology[37]
  • 方舟指令 (Ark Order)[39]


Cai Xukun[edit]

Cai Xukun, a Chinese artist and singer mainly targeting female recipients, was chosen as NBA spokesperson in January 2019, sparking controversy.[40] He later released a video of himself playing basketball. Consecutively, the "Guichu" (Kuchichu) video makers begin making videos, most of which did not constitute a violation of Bilibili policy, but are parodies in possession of a negative altitude towards him. Cai Xukun issued a lawsuit notice as a result,[41] further fuming about the creation of such videos. Currently, searching online for 'Cai Xukun' will still yield a large number of modified videos of his basketball-playing.


  1. ^ " Site Info". Alexa Internet. Retrieved 28 June 2019.
  2. ^ a b c Lou, Xiaojing (30 April 2012). "哔哩哔哩吐槽动漫" [Bilibili Talks About Anime & Manga Industry]. CBN Weekly. Shanghai Media Group. 16. Archived from the original on 3 May 2012.
  3. ^ 杭州幻电科技有限公司开业公告 [The Opening Announcement of Hangzhou Huandian Technology Co., Ltd.] (Press release) (in Chinese). News Center of Zhejiang Provincial Administration for Industry & Commerce. 20 December 2011. Archived from the original on 13 April 2013. Retrieved 1 October 2012.
  4. ^ Wang, Yue. "Chinese Millennials Are Flocking To This Anime And Gaming Site, But Can It Make Money?". Forbes. Retrieved 21 November 2018.
  5. ^ "Bilibili, China's biggest anime site, covers the screen in user comments". Abacus. Retrieved 21 November 2018.
  6. ^ a b 土八哥 (August 2011). 让字幕飞——互联网"弹幕"视频全方位解析 [Let the Subtitle Fly: Comprehensive Analysis of Internet "Danmu" Video]. Popular Software (in Chinese). Beijing: China Society for Scientific and Technical Information (375): 19–27. ISSN 1007-0060. OCLC 308996806.
  7. ^ "Fate/Zero第2季週六晚間繁中字幕同步播出!" [The second season of Fate/Zero will be webcast with traditional Chinese subtitle simultaneously in Saturday evening!] (Press release) (in Chinese). Nico Nico Douga Taiwan. 7 April 2012. Retrieved 1 October 2012. 另外,本次為了造福中國地區的粉絲,也確定在中國動畫網站『嗶哩嗶哩動畫』進行《Fate/Zero》第2季簡體中文字幕網路同步播出!(Besides, for the enjoyment of fans in China at this time, we decided to webcast Fate/Zero the second season with simplified Chinese subtitle on the Chinese anime website "Bilibili Donghua" at the same time!)
  8. ^ Hangzhou Municipal Bureau of Culture, Radio, TV, Film, Press and Publication (26 April 2012). "行政处罚结果公示" [Public Notice on Result of the Administrative Penalty]. Archived from the original on 31 August 2012. Retrieved 1 October 2012.
  9. ^ "BRIEF-Bilibili Inc Files For U.S. IPO Of Up To $400 Mln – SEC Filing". Reuters. 2018. Retrieved 3 March 2018.
  10. ^ "Nasdaq Welcomes Bilibili Inc. (Nasdaq: BILI) to The Nasdaq Stock Market". NASDAQ. 28 March 2018. Retrieved 28 March 2018.
  11. ^ Wang Yi-hung and William Hetherington, Liu Li-jen,. "Bilibili found to be renting server space in Taiwan". Taipei Times. Retrieved 4 September 2019.CS1 maint: extra punctuation (link)
  12. ^ "Bilibili source code containing user names and passwords leaked on GitHub". TechNode. 23 April 2019. Retrieved 23 April 2019.
  13. ^ Wu, Zechen; Ito, Eisuke (2014). "Correlation analysis between user's emotional comments and popularity measures.". 2014 IIAI 3rd International Conference. Advanced Applied Informatics (IIAIAAI). IEEE. pp. 280–283.
  14. ^ Chen, Yue; Gao, Qing (2015). "Understanding gratifications of watching danmaku videos–videos with overlaid comments.". CCD 2015: Cross-Cultural Design Methods, Practice and Impact. International Conference on Cross-Cultural Design. Springer. pp. 153–163.
  15. ^ "Script". Bilibili. Archived from the original on 22 June 2014. Retrieved 22 June 2014.
  16. ^ "弹幕发送". Bilibili. Retrieved 22 June 2014.
  17. ^ Lin, Claire (11 December 2014). "BiliBili — one of the most interesting websites in China and the problem that they are facing". Medium. Retrieved 6 February 2016.
  18. ^ Guo, Ying (15 April 2016). ""Bullet Comments": the Construction of Online Carnival in China". Asia Pacific Memo. Archived from the original on 18 September 2016. Retrieved 12 September 2016.
  19. ^ 赵, 丽 (20 August 2016). "官方要求加强对"弹幕"安全评估:评什么 怎样评". CCTV News. Retrieved 5 September 2018.
  20. ^ Bilibilichiyue (3 July 2012). "Changelog on 2012-06-08". Bilibili Wiki (in Chinese). Archived from the original on 21 June 2014. Retrieved 1 October 2012.
  21. ^ "Client app on Google Play Store". Archived from the original on 8 November 2013. Retrieved 5 November 2013.
  22. ^ "Client app on Windows Store". Retrieved 28 March 2019.
  23. ^ "API". Bilibili. Archived from the original on 21 June 2014. Retrieved 21 June 2014.
  24. ^ 小黑屋. (in Chinese). Retrieved 12 September 2017.
  25. ^ Bilibili Announcement (27 May 2010). "【BILI娘投票结束】投票结果发表" [(The Vote for Bili-tans Ended) Announcement on Results of the Vote]. Retrieved 1 October 2012.
  26. ^ "传Bilibili联合SMG成立哔哩哔哩影业_科技_腾讯网". Retrieved 12 September 2017.
  27. ^ "【bilibili】 冠名上海男篮_新闻中心_比特网". Archived from the original on 16 March 2018. Retrieved 16 March 2018.
  28. ^ 网易. "上海男篮携手新冠名商正式更名为上海哔哩哔哩队_网易体育". Retrieved 16 March 2018.
  29. ^ "B站收购电竞战队成立BLG 征战英雄联盟S8赛季". Retrieved 16 March 2018.
  30. ^ "2017 League of Legends Rift Rivals - Wikipedia". Retrieved 28 March 2019.[circular reference]
  31. ^ "B站获《英雄联盟》春季赛转播权 自家战队正式亮相LPL". Retrieved 16 March 2018.
  32. ^ Wolf, Jacob (5 September 2018). "Sources: Overwatch League to add D.C. and Hangzhou, China, teams". ESPN. Retrieved 5 September 2018.
  33. ^ "弹幕乱入淘宝首页 "二次元"用户狂刷屏_互联网_中国信息产业网". Retrieved 16 March 2018.
  34. ^ "北京:杜蕾斯在798开了间空气套概念超市 约200平米_新闻中心_赢商网". Retrieved 16 March 2018.
  35. ^ "B站小米Max直播待机结束:无聊的3亿条弹幕 - 小米Max,B站,哔哩哔哩,弹幕 - IT之家". Retrieved 16 March 2018.
  36. ^ 陈健. "小米Max在两周的直播中展现超持久续航能力_科技_环球网". Retrieved 16 March 2018.
  37. ^ a b c "Bilibili Inc". 16 March 2018.
  38. ^ a b 严查网游禁止内容,文化部公布6起典型案件 (in Chinese), Xinhua News Agency, 24 January 2018
  39. ^ {{cite web |url= |title=人形競技少女《方舟指令》9月27日正式公測 |language=Chinese |website=Qoo App |date=27 September 2018}
  40. ^ "NBA's choice of idol Cai Xukun as spokesperson sparks controversy - Global Times". Retrieved 26 April 2019.
  41. ^ "BiliBili threatened with lawsuit about videos mocking Chinese idol · TechNode". TechNode. 15 April 2019. Retrieved 26 April 2019.