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China Digital Digest Weekly: Exploring the Chinese Digital Landscape

Hi folks, we are back with our weekly edition of China’s Digital Digest, wherein we would bring you weekly updates on China’s digital space. The report takes a quick glance at China’s complex and rapidly evolving social media landscape by providing updates on the latest happenings across the social media industry. Here are the major highlights of the report.


1. Tencent’s 2022 Anti-Corruption Drive Ensnares More Than 100 Workers, 23 Firms


https://finance.yahoo.com/news/tencent-fired-more-100-people-093000580.html


Tencent Holdings said that it fired more than 100 employees for bribery and embezzlement last year, and it blocked 23 companies from doing business with the Chinese social media and video gaming giant.



The scope of the internal corruption appeared more severe than in 2021, when it affected nearly 70 staff and blacklisted 13 firms in its anti-corruption campaign. Some corruption cases last year included employees of its Platform and Content Group, responsible for Tencent’s news portal, and staff of its flagship Timi and Lightspeed gaming studios, who were found to have accepted bribes or stolen company property, according to a WeChat post by the company’s anti-graft department.


2. Wisconsin Becomes the Latest US State to Ban TikTok from Government Devices


https://www.reuters.com/world/us/wisconsin-governor-signs-order-banning-tiktok-state-devices-2023-01-12/


Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers has signed an order banning TikTok on government-owned and managed devices due to cybersecurity concerns, joining other states and the federal government in prohibiting the use of the popular video app.



In addition to banning Chinese-owned TikTok from state devices, the Democratic governor said he was banning vendors, products and services from nine companies, including Huawei Technologies Co, Hikvision, Tencent Holdings, ZTE and Kaspersky Lab. More than 20 other states have also banned TikTok from state devices including Ohio, New Jersey and Arkansas.


Calls to ban TikTok from government devices gained steam after US Federal Bureau of Investigation director Christopher Wray said in November it poses national security risks. Wray flagged the threat that the Chinese government could harness the app to influence users or control their devices.


3. TikTok Boss Meets EU Officials as Western Scrutiny Intensifies

https://www.usnews.com/news/business/articles/2023-01-10/tiktok-boss-meets-european-officials-as-scrutiny-intensifies


TikTok’s CEO has met European Union officials regarding strict new digital regulations in the 27-nation bloc as the Chinese-owned social media app faces growing scrutiny from Western authorities over data privacy, cybersecurity and misinformation.



In meetings in Brussels, Shou Zi Chew and four officials from the EU’s executive Commission discussed concerns ranging from child safety to investigations into user data flowing to China, according to European readouts from two of the meetings and tweets from a third.


4. Baidu Initiates MetaStack to Speed up Metaverse Creation to Just 40 Days


https://daoinsights.com/news/baidu-initiates-metastack-to-speed-up-metaverse-creation-to-just-40-days/


Baidu launched its underlying technology, MetaStack to shorten the duration of independent Metaverse project building to just 40 days down from 6 to 12 months.



According to Baidu, capitalizing on MetaStack for Metaverse creation has allowed the efficiency of development to increase by 300% while reducing production and maintenance costs by up to 50%.


5. France Hits TikTok with $5.4m Fine Over Data Tracking


https://www.reuters.com/technology/french-data-protection-watchdog-fines-tiktok-5-million-euros-over-cookie-2023-01-12/


China’s TikTok has been hit with a 5 million euros ($5.4 million) fine by France’s data regulator.



The country’s watchdog, CNIL, has punished the short video platform over its handling of online tracking files known as “cookies”, which the ByteDance-owned company said it had now addressed. The body found that for tiktok.com’s users, it was not as easy to refuse online trackers as to accept them. The authority also found that internet users were not sufficiently informed about TikTok’s use of the cookies.


6. TikTok to Open Stores in 12 Countries After Spring Festival


https://daoinsights.com/news/tiktok-to-open-stores-in-12-countries-after-spring-festival/


TikTok has unveiled aims to accelerate the global expansion of its small store business in 12 new countries in the Year of the Rabbit. Following the Spring Festival celebration, the internet giant plans to open stores in European countries such as France, Italy, and Spain, as well as Australia, New Zealand, and Brazil.



Among these nations, the Spanish and Brazilian markets seem to be the main priority for development. For Brazil, fast fashion giant Shein’s roaring success in the markets coupled with the rising momentum of e-commerce expected to grow to 160 billion USD by 2025 has many eyeing this blue ocean market. What’s more, the market is home to approximately 50 million loyal users of TikTok who are likely to be potential consumers.


7. Vip.Com Becomes Latest Chinese E-Commerce Firm to Set Up Shop in Southeast Asia


https://finance.yahoo.com/news/chinese-discount-retailer-vip-com-093000460.html#:~:text=China%20Morning%20Post-,Chinese%20discount%20retailer%20Vip.com%20sets%20up%20shop%20in%20Southeast,with%20Singapore%20website%2C%20regional%20app&text=Flash%2Dsales%20platform%20Vip.com,a%20presence%20in%20Southeast%20Asia.


Flash-sales platform Vip.com has become the latest Chinese e-commerce firm to seek opportunities abroad amid stalling growth at home, by establishing a presence in Southeast Asia.



The New York Stock Exchange-listed company, which sells mid to high-end fashion items at deep discounts, has launched a website in Singapore, VIPShop.sg, and released its app in countries including Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia. The discount retailer’s Singapore entity, VIPShop Singapore Pet currently has 49 employees, with Bernard Tay – an Amazon.com veteran in Singapore – as regional head of its Southeast Asia operations, according to LinkedIn.


Wrapping Up

The vast and diverse nature of the Chinese Social Media space makes it incredibly challenging to keep a tab on the rapid developments taking place. However, China’s Digital Digest brings you all the latest updates from there to keep you abreast of all the evolving trends.


To delve deeper into the findings of the January report, click here.


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