China’s STAR Market technology board opened trading on the Shanghai Stock Exchange Monday morning, with its first batch of 25 companies offering shares in the long-awaited debut.Why it matters: Previously known as the science and technology innovation board, STAR Market represents one of China’s most significant capital market reforms.The bourse is a strategic asset in Beijing’s push for technological self-reliance amid the US-China trade war, which has caused several Chinese tech companies to delay or cancel their US initial public offerings (IPO).The registration-based tech board was designed to lure high-potential tech companies to list domestically.Currently, top Chinese tech companies, including Alibaba, Tencent, Baidu, and JD.com, are all listed on exchanges overseas because of the strict listing criteria of domestic stock markets.The new market is expected to draw listings from among China’s rich reserve of unicorns, privately held companies valued at $1 billion or more, including Bytedance, the highest-valued startup in the world, and ride-hailing giant Didi.
Short video app Kuaishou is testing longer videos on its platform amid a broader push to ramp up user engagement by granting a small percentage of users access to upload videos between 57 seconds and 10 minutes, media outlet 36Kr reported.Why it matters: As Kuaishou and its rival, Bytedance-owned Douyin, grow bigger, they are competing for increasingly overlapping audiences.Kuaishou’s long video feature places it more directly in competition with Douyin, which started testing a long video feature in June.The rate of overlapping users on both Douyin and Kuaishou rose to 46.5% in May from 44.8% in April, according to 36kr citing a QuestMobile report.Around 70 of the top 100 key opinion leaders, or KOLs, on Kuaishou are also on Douyin, and half of the top 100 KOLs on Douyin are also using Kuaishou, according to Kuaishou’s senior vice president Ma Hongbin.Details: Kuaishou said that the long video functionality is still being tested and is currently available only to certain users.
The National Office Against Pornographic and Illegal Publications (NOAPIP) on Tuesday requested regulators, including the Cyber Administration of China (CAC), to suspend the service of three reading platforms for up to three months.Why it matters: A new wave of cleanups targeting online reading platforms comes just two months after the last.The increasingly frequent inspections and punishments highlight NOAPIP’s determination to rein in the online reading industry.The three suspended apps are Midu Novel, Beijing-based Jinjiang Wenxue Cheng, and Bytedance’s Tomato Novel.Besides top-ranked Midu Novel, Jingjiang Wenxue Cheng is ranked 14th and Tomato Novel is far lower, 97th on Apple’s China App Store free reading app download rankings as of Tuesday afternoon, according to online data providers Qimai.Details: In the notice dated Tuesday, the NOAPIP censured the three platforms for allowing lowbrow and sexually suggestive content, which “damaged readers’ interests” as well as “corrupted the industry’s culture.”
VidCon, the annual summit in Anaheim, CA for social media stars and their fans to meet each other drew over 75,000 attendees over last week and this past weekend.A small subset of those where entertainment and tech executives convening to share best practices and strike deals.Of the wide range of topics discussed in the industry-only sessions and casual conversation, five trends stuck out to me as takeaways for Extra Crunch members: the prominence of TikTok, the strong presence of Chinese tech companies in general, the contemplation of deep fakes, curiosity around virtual influencers, and the widespread interest in developing consumer product startups around top content creators.Newer platforms take center stageTikTok, the Chinese social video app (owned by Bytedance) that exploded onto the US market this past year, was the biggest conversation topic.Executives and talent managers were curious to see where it will go over the next year more than they were convinced that it is changing the industry in any fundamental way.
Bytedance’s new social app Feiliao, also known as Flipchat, has been removed from Apple’s App Store fewer than two months after its release.Why it’s important: It is unknown how why the app was removed and when it will be restored, but Apple’s App Store is one of its major distribution platforms in China.Feiliao is Bytedance’s newest experiment in the social app landscape, following the underperforming Snapchat clone Duoshan, which was launched in January.The app is an “interest-based social app” that combines instant message and forum functionalities.Details: A Feiliao spokeswoman told TechNode that they were communicating with Apple and would get an answer shortly.The representative also said that users who have installed the app can continue to use it and that the app is still available on Chinese third-party Android stores.
Bytedance said on Tuesday that its apps now have 1.5 billion monthly active users (MAU) globally as of end-June, media outlet Caixin Global reported.Why it’s important: These latest figures are a 50% increase compared with the January user base figure, which Bytedance made public last month.Rapid growth means that Bytedance is closer to realizing its 2019 revenue goal of RMB 100 billion.Bytedance’s revenue for the first half of 2019 was around RMB 48 billion, with RMB 20 billion from short video app Douyin, according to self-media account Kaiqi.Details: The company’s total daily active users (DAU) across its apps also posted solid growth, rising 16.7% in the past six months to 700 million.The lion’s share of users come from Douyin, the Chinese version of TikTok, which increased 28% from January to end-June to reach 320 million, accounting for close to half of the company’s total DAU.
Bytedance is internally testing a short video-based English-learning app named “Tangyuan English,” according to tech blog Tech Planet (in Chinese), leveraging its advantages in the short video vertical to push into the Chinese education landscape.Why it’s important: Bytedance’s seventh self-launched education product and third English-learning product, Tangyuan English highlights the company’s determination to gain a foothold in China’s lucrative education market.Tangyuan English uses relevant videos pulled from Douyin which include everyday conversations in English, and grades pronunciation with AI.Teachers then give feedback based on the scores.“Education and AI are the two industries that [Bytedance founder] Zhang Yiming values most at the moment.”— A Bytedance employee to Tech Planet
TikTok is a short-form video app that's become one of the most popular social platforms among teens and Generation Z.TikTok has more than 1 billion all-time downloads and is owned by a Chinese internet company called ByteDance.Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.TikTok acts as a social network, where users share videos covering a wide range of categories, from lip syncing to comedic skits to viral challenges.But even if you've never heard of the app, it's worth getting to know it.TikTok has over 1 billion all-time downloads, and its popularity and influence has only continued to spread.
TikTok is under fire once more for not doing enough to protect its teen user base from potential perverts.App creator Bytedance was fined by the FTC earlier this year to the tune of £4.3 million for illegally collecting data from users under the age of 13 - something that requires parental consent, and which TikTok didn't have.The app is now under investigation here in the UK for potentially violating the EU's GDPR rules, that came into effect in May."We are looking at the transparency tools for children," said UK Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham to a parliamentary committee this week."We're looking at the messaging system, which is completely open, we're looking at the kind of videos that are collected and shared by children online.We do have an active investigation into TikTok right now, so watch this space."
The UK is examining how social video app TikTok handles children's data and whether it ensures child safety on its platform, a report says.The investigation follows TikTok paying up $5.7 million to settle US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) charges that it illegally collected personal information from children.TikTok, which was previously known as Musical.ly, allows users to record themselves lip-synching to music videos and share those clips with friends.The app has reportedly surpassed 1 billion downloads on iOS and Android, with TikTok owner ByteDance now reportedly even working on developing its own phone.The UK kicked off its own investigation in February, a parliamentary committee has been told by Elizabeth Denham, the information commissioner, the Guardian reported Tuesday."We do have an active investigation into TikTok right now," Denham reportedly said Tuesday.
Beijing Haidian People’s Court issued an injunction against the two owners of short video app Shuabao on June 28, prohibiting them from downloading short videos and related comments from Bytedance’s Douyin and uploading them to their own platform, Beijing Youth Daily reported.Beijing Chuangrui Media and Chengdu Li’ao Media illegally scraped more than 50,000 short videos and attached comments from Douyin, Bytedance said in the filing.The theft was an act of unfair competition and weakened Bytedance’s competitive edge, the Douyin owner said.Shuabao’s owners stated that the scraped videos and comments were uploaded by users and that the majority of them had been deleted.They also argued that the remaining 1,220 videos were obtained legally and would not cause irreversible damage to Bytedance.However, according to the court’s ruling, the accused did not provide sufficient proof to support their claims.
Here's how to navigate through the TikTok app, including how you can create your own videos and follow along the latest trends.Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.TikTok is a product of Chinese company ByteDance, and came to the U.S. in August 2018 after merging with the similar platform Musical.ly.Since it first launched in 2017, TikTok has garnered more than 1.2 billion downloads according to analyst firm Sensor Tower, and its popularity has skyrocketed as users — especially Gen Z — are increasingly turning to the video app as their go-to social platform.TikTok doesn't necessarily bring anything especially new to social media, but it brings together the most popular and Gen Z-adored features under one app: Vine's video snippets for copious amounts of content consumption; Instagram's user feeds for easily following influencers; Twitter's trending hashtags for keeping up with what's going viral; and video game-inspired techniques for encouraging in-app spending.The first thing you'll see upon opening the TikTok app is a feed of content from people you follow, similar to Instagram or Twitter.
For many years, the boom and bust of China’s tech landscape have centered around consumer-facing products.As this space gets filled by Baidu, Alibaba, Tencent, and more recently Didi Chuxing, Meituan Dianping, and ByteDance, entrepreneurs and investors are shifting attention to business applications.One startup making waves in China’s enterprise software market is four-year-old Laiye, which just raised a $35 million Series B round led by cross-border venture capital firm Cathay Innovation.Existing backers Wu Capital, a family fund, and Lightspeed China Partners, whose founding partner James Mi has been investing in every round of Laiye since Pre-A, also participated in this Series B.The deal came on the heels of Laiye’s merger with Chinese company Awesome Technology, a team that’s spent the last 18 years developing Robotic Process Automation, a term for technology that lets organizations offload repetitive tasks like customer service onto machines.“There was a wave of B2C [business-to-consumer] in China, and now we believe enterprise software is about to grow rapidly,” Denis Barrier, co-founder and chief executive officer of Cathay Innovation, told TechCrunch over a phone interview.
What happened: Tencent’s messaging app WeChat has on Monday unblocked links shared from short video app Kuaishou, 36Kr reported.Shared videos play directly in user WeChat Moments newsfeeds as embedded videos.The sharing button in Kuaishou has also been changed to the WeChat’s Moments icon.Videos from Bytedance apps such as Douyin, Xigua Video, and Huoshan Video, however, still need to be downloaded and then uploaded to appear in WeChat.Why it’s important: In April 2018, China’s National Radio and Television Administration censured a number of short video apps for expanding their services without proper licenses.A month later, Tencent started blocking embedded short video links in WeChat Moments, requiring users to copy and paste links into browsers to be viewed normally.
What happened: Short video app Kuaishou plans to optimize its organizational structure and speed up the product refinement process to boost growth, with the goal of reaching 300 million daily active users (DAU) before Spring Festival of 2020, 36Kr reported, a major holiday which will fall in late January.Co-founders Su Hua and Cheng Yixiao expressed in an internal letter their dissatisfaction with the company’s loose structure and sluggishness among employees.In May, the vice president of the app announced 200 million DAU.Why it’s important: Kuaishou has seen substantial growth since the start of 2019, increasing its DAU by approximately 40 million in the first five months of the year.However, compared with its major competitor Bytedance, which has dozens of products with a combined MAU of 1 billion, Kuaishou has made very limited progress in terms of new products.While boosting the DAU of Kuaishou’s flagship product won’t resolve this issue, it could still help Kuaishou grow its share of the live-streaming and short video market.
Chinese electric vehicle (EV) maker Chehejia (CHJ) is planning to restructure into a variable interest entity (VIE) and register an offshore holding company for a possible listing overseas.According to an announcement released Tuesday by major shareholder Zhejiang Leo Company Ltd, one of its Hong Kong subsidiaries will subscribe approximately 68.6 million shares of Leading Ideal Inc, a Cayman Islands corporation which will be jointly owned by CHJ shareholders.CHJ will be indirectly controlled by Leading Ideal Inc, after it completes the restructuring using the VIE structure, said Zhejiang Leo.The Shenzhen-listed company, which owns about 7.5% shares of CHJ, said the deal was “in line with CHJ’s reorganizing” and that its ownership stake will be the same under the new structure.“Public listing is an inevitable choice [for CHJ], as it has been hard for the company to raise funds in private capital markets,” (our translation) reported China Business Journal citing an industry insider.Chinese companies that list in the US mostly use a foreign incorporated company as the listed company.
Popular short-form video app TikTok has been slowly ramping up its advertising strategy this year as it increases its focus on monetization.However, the company still generates a smaller of its revenue from in-app purchases — and that number hit a high of $9 million in May, according to a report from Sensor Tower.That represents 500% year-over-year growth from the $1.5 million spent in May 2018, and 22% growth from April’s $7.4 million.For now, the Beijing-based app owned by ByteDance is more heavily focused on driving user growth.It knows that putting some of its best features behind a paywall could potentially limit user adoption and engagement — especially as TikTok looks for growth in emerging markets like India, where it recently said it has 200 million users, 120 million who are monthly actives.In India, the app overtook Facebook as the most downloaded social networking app in the first quarter of the year, and is now looking to pull in more advertisers.
What happened: Bytedance has recently hired Facebook veteran Blake Chandlee as the vice president of global business solutions for TikTok, Bloomberg reported.Chandlee had worked on Facebook’s partnerships in Europe, Latin America, and the US for a decade.Chandlee announced the hire with a Facebook post on May 20, saying that he believes “different views, perspectives, and models make everything better.” Bytedance previously hired several executives from YouTube to help expand the TikTok brand.Why it’s important: The new hire comes as Bytedance accelerates TikTok’s monetization in existing overseas markets.The company has recently reshuffled Douyin’s leadership, naming Musical.ly co-founder Zhu Jun to lead Douyin and TikTok.As someone who is experienced in building teams and scaling businesses, Chandlee could potentially speed up TikTok’s advertising roll out, which greatly lags its Chinese sister app, Douyin.
What happened: Tencent has filed six new lawsuits against Bytedance, demanding the company to delete all “Honour of Kings” gameplay videos from the accounts of six specified users on Jinri Toutiao and Douyin.It is also requesting Bytedance pay RMB 10.8 million (around $1.56 million) in damages, TechWeb reported.Tencent says in the filing that the videos are a violation of its copyright for the hit mobile title.This fresh round of lawsuits raises the number of game-related cases Tencent has brought against Bytedance to 15.Why it’s important: Tencent has drastically increased the frequency of legal action against the owner of Douyin since last month.In May, the gaming giant sued Bytedance six times, demanding it to remove videos and ban live-streaming shows related to three popular Tencent titles from its content apps.