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Amid a copycat fever, TikTok parent company ByteDance is said to be working on a clubhouse-style app for China

According to sources, TikTok owner ByteDance is working on an app similar to Clubhouse for the users based in China. After the huge success of the Clubhouse which is a US-based audio messaging platform, many companies have started to imitate the same app for their respective region.

At the beginning of February, Clubhouse was restricted for China users. After which, ByteDance which is a parent company of TikTok decided to launch its app that works the same as the Clubhouse. As a result of this decision, a number of relevant apps were released last month and the momentum keeps on increasing every month. Users on Clubhouse had increased their participation in discussions about serious matters like Xinjiang detention centers and Hong Kong freedom.

Among the new features, Xiaomi redesigned its Mi Talk app to just invitation-only audio platform aimed at professionals after observing the indulgence of Clubhouse users into sensitive issues.

According to two unnamed sources who were not permitted to give statement to the media and refused to be mentioned, ByteDance just decided to launch an app but the plans are still in progress and underworking. As reported by some source, Clubhouse users have been seen discussing about ByteDance and TikTok that attracts attention among ByteDance executives, including CEO Zhang Yiming. ByteDance refused to talk about this.

Recently, Clubhouse gained huge popularity as it can accommodate as many as 8000 people in a single chat room and has been a center of discussion between Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk and Robinhood CEO Vlad Tenev. Both of them emphasized the increasing values of audio chat services.

Applications similar to Clubhouse in China are likely to adopt Chinese traits to satisfy the surveillance and government control.

Nasdaq-listed Zhiya app is a similar example. It is 2013 publication where users only used to discuss video games or participate in singing songs. The app allows users to register using their real names, which Lizhi CEO Marco Lai believes is important in China. The organization also hires people for eavesdropping and uses technologies to filter out stuff that is not user friendly like violence or politically charged topics. In 2019, Chinese regulators temporarily blocked the app, but Lizhi was able to restore it after making the necessary changes.

According to Lizhi's Lai, there are sufficient numbers of audio chat rooms where people can express their points of view. He further explained that people in China are taught to remain silent in public that is why adults do not feel comfortable expressing their opinion publicly.

In Duihuaba, Inke is released in the present month. It was known for its live streaming feature but after two weeks it was unexpectedly removed, citing the need for additional changes without providing further information.


Photo: Imaginechina / AP

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