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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 Will Now Label Content Created by External AI Tools

TikTok has announced that it began labeling AIGC from other services automatically by detecting metadata tagged to the images or videos. The feature will soon be extended to audio, the company said.

Douyin and TikTok, both owned by Beijing-based ByteDance, have for the past year required creators to label AIGC uploaded to their respective platforms. TikTok has already been automatically labeling content created with the app’s own AI effects. TikTok’s initiative is separate from that of Douyin, which may choose not to use the same tagging tool because the two apps target different markets, according to a person familiar with the matter.

2. Baidu’s Public Relations Head Leaves Firm After Controversial Remarks

Baidu’s public relations chief Qu Jing has left the Chinese internet search giant after her comments endorsing an intense workplace culture sparked a public backlash, according to people familiar with the matter and local media reports.

The firm’s internal system shows that Qu, a vice president, has departed from her position, according to employees who declined to be named because they are not authorized to speak to the media. This comes after Qu posted a series of short videos on Douyin, the Chinese sibling of TikTok, in which she said she had no obligation to care about her staff’s well-being and criticized one of her subordinates for refusing to go on a 50-day business trip during the Covid-19 pandemic.

3. TikTok to Expand Ecommerce Business Into Mexico, Major Western European Markets

TikTok is poised to expand its e-commerce operations into Mexico, France, Germany, Italy, and Spain, as the ByteDance-owned short video platform remains under scrutiny in the United States and the European Union.

The global hit social media platform has started to invite merchants for a beta run of TikTok Shop in those markets before the in-app feature’s expected official launch this summer, according to three people familiar with the matter. TikTok Shop, however, has tightened its criteria for merchants, one of the people said. Those eligible for Mexico, for example, must have a locally-registered entity and would initially be restricted from selling certain types of goods, such as food and jewelry.

This development would significantly broaden the presence of TikTok Shop, an in-app feature that enables users to buy goods directly from the platform to a total of 13 markets worldwide.

4. Alibaba Subsidiary Lingxi Games Shuts Down Game Engine Project

Alibaba Group Holding has discontinued the game engine project at its video gaming subsidiary, prompting the departure of another founding member of the unit, as the e-commerce giant pares down investment in its non-core businesses.

That development was revealed by Wu Yunyang, a co-founder of Lingxi Games who was responsible for the Alibaba subsidiary’s Ant Engine project, in his personal blog post. Wu wrote that his departure was because he felt that the company no longer wanted to develop its game client engine, [or] did not agree with his development plan for the Ant Engine.

5. TikTok Is Testing a Collaboration Feature for Posts

TikTok is testing a new feature called “Collaboration” that allows users to tag and link collaborators in their posts.

The new option will allow creators to invite up to 5 other creators to make a collaboration post. Also, users will be asked to approve collaborator listings and will be able to decline those they don’t want to be included. Users will also be able to remove themselves as collaborators retrospectively.

Collaborator posts will appear on the creator and collaborator profiles, though only the creator can edit the post. You’ll be able to invite people to collaborate on a post up to four times each month.

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 our latest report, click here.


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