ByteDance developing Clubhouse-like app for China amid copycat rush
TikTok owner ByteDance is working on a Clubhouse-like app for China, sources familiar with the matter said, as the global success of the U.S.-based audio chat service inspires a rush of copycats in the country.
At least a dozen similar apps have been launched in the past month, with momentum picking up after Clubhouse was blocked in China in early February. Clubhouse had seen a surge in users who participated in discussions on sensitive topics such as Xinjiang detention camps and Hong Kong independence.
New offerings include Xiaomi Corp’s reworking of its Mi Talk app into an invitation-only audio service targeted at professionals last week. More are currently under development, industry executives say.
ByteDance’s plans are still in the early stages, said two sources who were not authorised to speak to media and declined to be identified.
Discussions about TikTok and ByteDance on Clubhouse had prompted interest in the genre from ByteDance executives including CEO Zhang Yiming, said one of the sources.
ByteDance declined to comment.