(Bloomberg) -- Kuaishou Technology’s revenue narrowly beat estimates, as China’s No. 2 short-video platform defied a weakening economy and competition with TikTok-owner ByteDance Ltd.

Revenue rose to 21.07 billion yuan ($3.16 billion) for the three months ended March, versus the 20.6 billion yuan projected by analysts. Growth decelerated to the slowest pace since the company went public in February last year. Net loss came at 6.25 billion yuan, compared with the estimated 6.4 billion yuan loss.

China’s largest tech corporations find themselves in a new era of cautious expansion, more than a year into Beijing’s crackdown that engulfed the internet ecosystem from e-commerce to gaming and social media. Senior government officials have shown public support of digital-platform companies in recent weeks, but the country’s Covid lockdowns and economic malaise have resulted in some of the tech sector’s worst quarterly earnings in more than a decade.

Kuaishou is locked in a prolonged duel with ByteDance, whose viral hit Douyin continues to snap up users and advertisers from the broader Chinese social media sphere. Kuaishou has joined streaming hubs iQiyi Inc. and Bilibili Inc. and is outlining clearer goals to break even. Its China division should turn profitable sometime in 2022 on an adjusted net income basis, Chief Executive Cheng Yixiao said in March, by ramping up monetization while cutting costs.

In the wake of stricter rules on content and spending, the company is moving away from generating revenue from live-stream tips to more lucrative businesses like e-commerce, advertising and game publishing. This month, it unveiled plans to provide more traffic to over 500 selected merchants who will be licensed to sell products like cosmetics and clothes under the official “Kuai” brand.

Longer term, Kuaishou is seeking to replicate ByteDance’s success globally. While its two apps Kwai and Snack Video have made inroads in places like Brazil and Indonesia, they have yet to face off against TikTok in major markets like the U.S. In March, Kuaishou’s international chief Tony Qiu left the company due to personal reasons.

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