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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. Budget Shopping App Temu’s Downloads Jump Nearly 60 Percent In The First Quarter

Online budget shopping app Temu, owned by Chinese e-commerce giant PDD Holdings, kept up its momentum in the US in the first quarter with downloads jumping 57 percent as its cutthroat pricing buoys the app in a tough macroeconomic environment.

Temu saw 19 million downloads in the first three months of the year, bringing its total to 33 million downloads since it launched in the US in September, according to mobile intelligence firm Sensor Tower. Temu is currently the top-ranked free app in the US on both Apple’s App Store and Google Play, a spot it has largely guarded since November

2. Alibaba Cloud Unveils New AI Model Tongyi Qianwen

Alibaba Cloud, the digital technology and intelligence backbone of Alibaba, on April 11 unveiled its latest large language model, Tongyi Qianwen. The new AI model will be integrated across Alibaba’s various businesses to improve user experience in the near future, from enterprise communication, intelligent voice assistance, e-commerce, search, to navigation and entertainment.

The model, which can operate in both Chinese and English languages, will initially be implemented on two platforms: DingTalk – Alibaba‘s digital collaboration workspace and application development platform; and Tmall Genie – a provider of IoT-enabled smart home appliances. Tongyi Qianwen-powered DingTalk can simplify meeting tasks such as note-taking, transcribing conversations into text, drafting emails and creating business proposals or promotional plans with ease.

3. Tencent Penalizes Executives for WeChat and QQ Malfunctions in March

Tencent’s social platforms WeChat and QQ experienced a crash on March 29, causing disruption to multiple functions such as voice chat, payment, file transfer, and mailbox. Although the issue was resolved later that day, Tencent has still issued severe punishment for it.

Many related leaders have been punished, including Lu Shan (Senior Executive Vice President of the company and President of Technology Engineering Group) and Harvey Zhou (Vice President of Weixin Group). The incident, which Tencent has classified as a level-one incident, was caused by a cooling system failure at Guangzhou Telecom data center.

4. Bytedance Now Has A New App Called Lemon8

Bytedance, the Chinese company which also owns TikTok, is planning to launch its new venture Lemon8 in May. The app features pictures and text and is described as a cross between Instagram and Pinterest.

Even as it faces a potential ban in the U.S., ByteDance is continuing to woo creators – targeting many micro-influencers with as few as 10,000 followers – and paying them to start posting daily on Lemon8. But if legislation forcing a divestiture or entirely banning Chinese-owned apps like TikTok passes, Lemon8 would be banned, too. ByteDance’s investment in a new platform – while the fate of TikTok hangs in the balance – has some wondering why the Chinese company is pouring more money into a company during such an uncertain time.

5. TikTok Unveils Fresh Content Lineup for Earth Month Celebrations

In honor of Earth Month, TikTok is rolling out a new collection of programming aimed at promoting sustainability and raising environmental awareness among its audience. The platform will feature content that showcases eco-friendly best practices, tips, and tricks, along with creators who are dedicated to promoting sustainability initiatives.

Additionally, TikTok will shine a spotlight on organizations and movements that are working to make a positive impact, in order to foster greater awareness and understanding within its community.

6. ByteDance’s Douyin Cooperates With Tencent Video

Douyin, the Chinese counterpart of TikTok, and internet giant Tencent have agreed to explore the joint promotion of short and long videos, in a thawing of frosty relations that has often been marked by lawsuits and public spats.

Douyin, which like TikTok is owned by ByteDance, said in a statement it is now authorized to use Tencent Video content, and rules about how secondary content can be generated have been clarified. Users of platforms in the Douyin Group including Douyin, Xigua Video, and Toutiao will be able to create short videos using the content in long videos on Tencent platforms, it said.

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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