TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, is working on a Clubhouse-like app for China. The global success of the US-based Clubhouse has so far inspired similar services across social media sites.
In China alone, there are at least a dozen similar apps have been launched in the past month, according to Reuters. The number increased China blocked the audio service in February 2021.
Even Xiaomi is reworking its Mi Talk app into an invitation-only audio service. The service targets professionals and launched in the last week. Reuters reports that they are more of such similar audio chat services currently under development citing industry executives.
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Discussions on Clubhouse had centered on government sensitive topics like Xinjiang detention camps and Hong Kong independence, prompting government censorship.
Of course for the Chinese apps, the biggest worry for users would be government censorship and oversight. This has proven problematic for several companies.
For example, Inke, known for its live-streaming platform, launched a similar app, Duihuaba, last month. Duihuaba recruited venture capitalists, fashion critics, and other celebrities to host conversations on the platform.
However, Inke abruptly pulled the app two weeks after its debut, saying that it needed further improvements without elaborating. Rumours suspect that the real reason is government censorship.
Reuters reports that the discussions about TikTok and ByteDance on Clubhouse had prompted interest in the service from ByteDance executives including CEO Zhang Yiming, citing sources.
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