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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 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. TikTok Collecting Americans’ Data ‘Every Single Day’, Should Be Banned: Pence

Former vice-president Mike Pence has said that the US should ban TikTok, calling it a platform that allowed the Chinese government to obtain data on Americans without their knowledge.

The relationship between the world’s two largest economies has gained growing attention in the 2024 presidential race. Republican candidates, including Pence, have criticised President Joe Biden, saying he must take a tougher line with Beijing over a number of issues. The fight over TikTok is just one aspect of the growing tensions between the US and China over their technological ambitions. Biden has limited exports of advanced chipmaking technology over fears it could be used to help China’s military. China in turn has imposed its own restrictions, including on US chip maker Micron Technology Inc.’s ability to sell products.

2. Indonesia’s Potential Ban On Social Media Sales Could Hit Tiktok ‘Live’ Sellers

Indonesia is planning to ban goods transactions on social media under new trade regulations, the deputy trade minister told a parliamentary hearing on 12th September.

Ministers have repeatedly said that e-commerce sellers using predatory pricing on social media platforms were threatening offline markets in Southeast Asia’s largest economy. Current trade regulations do not specifically cover direct transactions on social media. TikTok, which has 2 million sellers in Indonesia, has previously said it had no plans to roll out a cross-border business in Indonesia after officials expressed concerns the firm’s e-commerce push could flood the country with Chinese products.

3. Douyin Makes Aggressive Push In Food Delivery In Bid to Take On Meituan

Douyin, the Chinese version of TikTok, is making one of its most aggressive pushes to expand its delivery service in a bid to compete against industry powerhouse Meituan.

The platform known for its short video offerings, which has slowly crept into “super app” territory with many different services, will expand its food delivery business to 24 new cities, including major markets such as Shenzhen, Tianjin, southeast of Beijing, and Chongqing, in southwestern China. Douyin is contracting with third-party regional vendors to meet delivery demands from merchants and strengthen regional operational and marking capabilities, the company said in a notice to the website of its local services business.

4. Alibaba.Com Announces the Full Launch of Localization Operations has announced that it will fully initiate localization operations. This means conducting in-depth research on the characteristics of different countries and markets, and assisting Chinese sellers in operating their businesses more professionally and precisely in their respective markets through methods such as launching national pavilions. The aim is to attract more accurate customers and further expand business growth. The investment promotion targeting the B2B (business-to-business) market in Southeast Asia has already begun.

5. TikTok Launches E-Commerce Services for US Users

TikTok is officially kicking off its US e-commerce efforts with the launch of TikTok Shop.

The short-form video platform launched an in-app shopping experience in the United States, according to a company blog post, after months of testing. TikTok Shop allows users to find and directly purchase products used in live videos, tagged in the content shown on their algorithm-driven For You page, pinned on brand profiles, or marketed in a new “Shop” tab.

6. TikTok And Billboard Team Up to Launch a Top 50 Song Chart

TikTok and Billboard are partnering to launch an official TikTok Billboard Top 50 Chart that tracks the most popular songs on the short-form video-sharing app.

The chart will measure the hottest songs on the platform each week based on the number of views, user engagement, and how many videos are made using the song. To view TikTok’s Top 50 Chart, users can either visit the TikTok app or the Billboard website. It will be updated every Thursday morning. TikTok and Billboard will only monitor trending songs in the U.S.

7. Republican States Urge Judge To Side With Montana Over TikTok Ban

Virginia and 17 other GOP-led states filed a brief in support of Montana in a lawsuit it faces from social media giant TikTok.

The brief filed ON 18th September calls the Montana law “the latest in a long tradition of consumer protection laws.” It also argues that TikTok’s request for a preliminary injunction in this case should be denied. The lawsuit was filed in May in federal court by TikTok over the Montana’s first-in-the-nation law that will ban the social media platform from operating in the Treasure State at the beginning of next year. It will also bar app stores from allowing it to be downloaded.

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 September report, click here.

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