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. Senior UK MP Warns Users Off Chinese-Run TikTok App
Conservative MP Alicia Kearns, who chairs parliament’s foreign affairs committee has advised people not to use the Chinese social media app TikTok because of data security concerns.
Kearns said the bigger concern was “data penetration” via Chinese companies, and the way Beijing was using that data to intimidate “those who sought refuge in the UK and around the world”.
2. Electronic Arts to Shut Down Popular Mobile Game Title Co-Developed With Tencent
US video game company Electronic Arts (EA) said it would close its popular title Apex Legends Mobile, co-developed with Chinese gaming giant Tencent Holdings, citing “factors beyond our control”, in a surprise move for a title that gained popularity with users and accolades in the nine months since its launch.
The game, co-developed by EA and Tencent’s LightSpeed Studios, the maker of PUBG Mobile, will cease operations on May 1 this year. The US studio would not provide refunds for real money purchases made by players, per terms of the EA user agreement, it said in the statement.
3. TikTok Opens ‘Accountability Centre’ In US As Government Weighs Ban
TikTok is opening a Transparency and Accountability Centre at its Los Angeles headquarters.
The center, which doesn’t directly address the allegations of data breach, aims to help outsiders understand how the app works, with various stations including touch screens that illustrate how its algorithm and content moderation tools operate. One installment, for instance, gives visitors a chance to experience the decision-making process for a TikTok moderator who is presented with a type of content that has been reported to the company for potentially violating policies.
4. TikTok Gets New Product Head From Douyin In Latest ByteDance Reshuffle
ByteDance has appointed Fiona Zhi Ying as team lead for TikTok product development, moving her over from her former role of vice-president of Douyin, as the tech unicorn tries to replicate its success in generating revenue on the Chinese version of the popular short video app in overseas markets.
A ByteDance representative said Zhi will work across Singapore and the US in her new role and report to the head of product and engineering for TikTok, Zhu Wenjia. Zhu reports to TikTok CEO Chew Shou Zi, who is based in Singapore.
5. Alibaba’s Cainiao And DHL Combine Parcel Locker Networks In Poland
Cainiao Network, the logistics arm of Alibaba Group Holding, has announced a new partnership with the German courier giant Deutsche Post DHL Group to build the largest network of delivery lockers in Poland, giving the Chinese tech giant a foothold in one of Europe’s fastest-growing e-commerce markets.
Under the agreement signed with DHL eCommerce Solutions, the German firm’s division specializing in e-commerce logistics, the two companies will invest 60 million euros (US$64.75 million) to build parcel lockers across Poland and “improve the quality and speed of the country’s out-of-home delivery”, which has already tripled in the last three years.
6. China’s E-Commerce Sector Sees At Least 89 Platforms Go Under In 2022
China’s e-commerce market saw at least 89 online shopping platforms closed last year, as the sector struggled with rigid Covid-19 control measures, fierce competition, and weak consumer spending amid a flagging domestic economy, according to an industry report.
Online shopping guide websites were the hardest hit, with 32 of these platforms shut down to account for about 36 percent of overall casualties last year in the world’s largest e-commerce market, according to a report published this week by retail data provider Linkshop.com, which is based in eastern Zhejiang province.
7. McDonald’s Eyes Lower-Tier Chinese Cities With 900 Stores Set to Open
American fast-food chain McDonald’s disclosed its expansion plan on 1 February, eyeing the enormous potential in China’s lower-tier cities with a record figure of 900 new stores set to open this year.
The fast-food giant released its 2022 financial report representing great financial performance over the last year, with the generated revenue totaling 23.18 billion USD, equating to a 5% growth year-on-year.
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.