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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. Canada Bans TikTok on Government Devices

TikTok has been banned from government-issued mobile devices in Canada, the country’s Treasury Board announced Monday. Taking effect on February 28, this block follows similar actions taken by the European Commission and some state governments in the U.S.

The European Commission issued its directive to remove TikTok from government devices late last week. That same day, four Canadian privacy regulators announced that they would jointly investigate TikTok. Already, the chief information officer of Canada has determined that TikTok poses “an unacceptable level of risk to privacy and security.”

2. Alibaba Cloud to Work with Shell China on Green, Low-Carbon Digital Solutions

Alibaba Cloud, the digital technology backbone of Alibaba Group Holding, is collaborating with energy giant Shell’s China subsidiary on green, low-carbon digital solutions, the first significant deal after group chairman Daniel Zhang Yong personally took over the unit.

The two companies are becoming long-term strategic partners with the help of Shell’s advantage in energy transformation and Alibaba Cloud’s advantages in cloud computing, big data and artificial intelligence, according to a WeChat official article posted by Shell China

3. Alibaba Beats Earnings Estimates as Tech Crackdown, Covid Curbs Ease

Alibaba Group Holding reported better-than-expected earnings in the December quarter, its latest financial filing shows, as Beijing started to ease a crackdown on Big Tech firms and relaxed pandemic control measures after three years of rigid zero-Covid policies.

The Hangzhou-based company, which owns the South China Morning Post, reported a 2 percent increase in revenue to 247.76 billion yuan (US$35.92 billion) for the October-to-December quarter, beating the 245.87 billion yuan estimated by analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

4. TikTok Is Coming to Cars, Starting With Mercedes Benz

TikTok has announced a new partnership with Mercedes Benz which will see TikTok content directly integrated into the ‘superscreen’ of the new E-Class car. The partnership aims to bring TikTok to more users through another means, with the platform fed directly into the in-car displays, providing direct entertainment.

5. Douyin Tests Out A PC Shopping Feature to Boost E-Commerce

China’s booming video-sharing platform Douyin is currently testing out a PC shopping function that allows users to enjoy a shopping experience similar to that of its mobile app.

Douyin has added a product mounting function to the live broadcast room on its web version, allowing users to directly view products for purchase. However, the PC version of the live streams still does not support direct orders and payments. Before they can complete their purchases, users need to scan the code with their Douyin app.

6. Cosmetics GMV on Kuaishou Skyrockets by 245% in 2022

Short-video platform Kuaishou presented whopping growth in the cosmetics sector in 2022, as GMV surged by 245% yearly and up to 300 live stream sales exceeded 10 million RMB ($1.45 million).

Live streaming beauty products have immense monetization abilities, with 40 influencers on Kuaishou closing 100 million RMB ($77.1 million) in sales on their channels and the overall income growth of hosts climbed by 300% last year.

7. TikTok’s Expanding Access to its Research API, Enabling More Analysis of How it Works

TikTok is expanding access to its research API to nonprofit academic institutions in the United States.

The expansion comes as TikTok started testing an early version of the research API back in November. Interested universities and researchers will have to apply for access and be approved by TikTok’s U.S. Data Security (USDS) division.

8. Former Technology Head Seeks Talent for Chinese Version of ChatGPT

On February 26, Zhou Bowen, former chairman of’s technical committee and founder of Xianyuan Technology, published a post to recruit R&D and algorithm scientists.

Zhou added that it is critical for the future of technology to allow AI to gain a better understanding of human intentions and judgments through interactive learning, obtain a large amount of information and data, make complex reasoning, present logical processes, and help people make decisions.

9. EU Officials Told to Remove TikTok From Official Devices Due to Security Concerns

EU IT officials have called for Government employees to remove the TikTok app from their devices, citing security concerns.

It’s the first big move against TikTok in Europe, and follows similar warnings and actions taken in US states, where many regional governments have banned the app on official devices.

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 February report, click here.

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