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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. Tencent Eyes China’s Healthcare Sector With Social Media And AI Models

Tencent Holdings, China’s social media and video gaming giant, is testing its artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities in the healthcare sector, a corporate executive said in an interview.

The internet giant is integrating several of its social media tools including WeCom, the enterprise version of ubiquitous messaging app WeChat, with its in-house large language model (LLM) Hunyuan, to develop industry-specific AI applications for pharmaceutical and healthcare clients such as AstraZeneca, Alexander Ng, president of Tencent Healthcare has said. Ng, who worked as deputy director at the Beijing office of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation before joining the Shenzhen-based tech giant to lead its healthcare unit in 2019, said Tencent’s Next Generation Engagement Suite, designed to connect the pharmaceutical industry with doctors in China, has integrated the abilities of Hunyuan into a medical industry-specific model.

2. Pinduoduo Ramps Up Investment In AI With Job Posts For LLM Engineers

Budget shopping platform Pinduoduo, operated by PDD Holdings, is ramping up investment in artificial intelligence (AI) after posting job advertisements for various positions, including algorithm engineers.

Pinduoduo is offering up to 60,000 yuan (US$8,451) per month for roles including large language model (LLM) developers and LLM referencing engineers based in its Shanghai headquarters, according to recruitment posts published by online talent service Boss Zhipin. Candidates for the LLM referencing engineer role will be responsible for the research, development, and optimization of the company’s LLM reference engine. LLMs are the algorithms that underpin generative AI technology, such as OpenAI’s ChatGPT.

3. Douyu CEO Arrested for Alleged Crime of Operating a Gambling House

Chen Shaojie, the chairman and CEO of leading Chinese gaming live-streaming platform Douyu, has been arrested. The NASDAQ-listed company confirmed the previously reported news in a regulatory filing.

DouYu said that it was informed that Chen was arrested by police in Chengdu “on or about Nov. 16.” Reputable Chinese and international media previously reported that he had been missing for at least three weeks and had been away from public view since August.

4. Multiple Top Anchors Reportedly Stop Livestreaming On DouYu After Platform CEO Arrested On Suspicion Of Running Gambling Establishment

Several of the most popular anchors on the Chinese livestreaming platform DouYu appeared to have stopped livestreaming after the platform's CEO Chen Shaojie was arrested on suspicion of running an illegal gambling establishment and is under further investigation.

The arrest of Chen has once again pushed the already troubled game livestreaming industry into a whirlpool of uncertainty. Chinese media outlet has reported that the arrest of Chen may lead to a group of top game anchors being implicated, mainly due to their involvement in gambling and money laundering.

5. ByteDance’s Gaming Subsidiary, Nuverse, Initiates Large-Scale Layoff

ByteDance Ltd. plans to cut hundreds of jobs in gaming and wind down its showpiece brand Nuverse in a major withdrawal from the sector, handing a victory to rival Tencent Holdings Ltd.

The layoff will affect various research and development projects at Nuverse. Considering the large number of employees in Nuverse team, it is expected that thousands of people will be laid off in a short period of time. Multiple sources have linked this decision to Zhang Yiming, the founder of ByteDance. Over the past few years, ByteDance has acquired several gaming companies and has studios in Hangzhou, Shanghai, Beijing, and Shenzhen, all under the brand of Nuverse. However, Nuverse’s contribution to ByteDance’s revenue, profit, and user growth has been relatively limited in the past few years, making it difficult to bear the responsibility of a strategic business unit.

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 November report, click here.

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