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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. Montana Close To Becoming First US State To Completely Ban TikTok



Lawmakers in Montana have voted to ban the popular Chinese-owned video-sharing app TikTok, sending the matter to the US state’s governor to sign the first such blanket ban on the platform into law.



The Montana House voted 54 to 43 in favor of the ban, which is likely to trigger a series of court battles that could reach the US Supreme Court if Governor Greg Gianforte signs the bill. Under the proposed law, which would take effect in 2024, Apple and Google would have to remove TikTok from their app stores, and companies found in violation would face daily fines of US$10,000.


2. US Accuses Shein, Temu Of Data Risks In Latest Action Targeting Chinese-Backed Apps



Chinese-backed digital platforms Shein and Temu have become the latest targets of the US government after an official report raised concerns over their data risks and other business practices.



The US-China Economic and Security Review Commission (USCC), created by Congress in 2000, published a report on Friday that accused the two popular apps and other similar Chinese platforms of possible data risks, sourcing violations, and intellectual property infringements. It represents the latest political backlash against Chinese businesses after the short video app TikTok, owned by Beijing-based ByteDance, was banned on US federal devices over data concerns.


3. Alibaba, JD.com Restructure E-Commerce Units to Spur Growth In Sluggish Market



E-commerce giants Alibaba Group Holding and JD.com are adjusting their retail business operations after implementing major restructuring moves last month, with the latest efforts aimed at boosting sales amid China’s sluggish economic recovery.



Alibaba has reorganized its Taobao and Tmall businesses by establishing three major industry development departments based on consumption trends and user demand scenarios. On the other hand, JD.com is conducting a new round of restructuring, flattening the management structure in its retail business. As a result, the Beijing-based company will no longer have different teams for its own stores and third-party stores operated by outside merchants.


4. ByteDance’s Hefty Profits Leave Tencent And Alibaba In The Dust



ByteDance Ltd’s profit in 2022 surged to a record high and surpassed that of Chinese technology giants Tencent Holdings Ltd. and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. for the first time.



While ByteDance’s EBITDA stood at $25 billion in 2022, Tencent and Alibaba registered EBITDA of $23.9 billion and $22.7 billion, respectively. The double-digit growth has outperformed many internet leaders, including Mata Inc. and Amazon.com, underscoring ByteDance’s resilience at a time when multiple countries, including the US, are threatening to join India in banning TikTok.


5. Tencent Cloud Launches New High-Performance Computing Cluster



Tencent Cloud has launched a new generation of High-Performance Computing Cluster on April 14th. The company aims to improve the overall performance of this cluster three times compared to the past. This new release focuses on large-scale model training.



In October last year, Tencent Cloud completed the first trillion-parameter AI model training – the Hunyuan NLP model, by reducing the training time from 50 days to 11 days. However, by utilizing the new generation cluster, the training time may be further shortened to 4 days.


6. Douyin Partners with Sanxingdui Museum



ByteDance’s Douyin and Sanxingdui Museum have signed an agreement to establish a Douyin account for the museum and collaborate on scientific and educational content.



The partnership aims to provide users with a more immersive experience, allowing them to explore and learn about the Sanxingdui culture in diverse ways. This will offer a comprehensive experience that will help bring the exhibits of the museum to life. Working together, ByteDance and Sanxingdui Museum intend to enhance the Sanxingdui culture on new technology platforms to bring it to a wider audience.


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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