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Digitally China Podcast: David and Goliath – Bytedance Takes on WeChat

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Digitally China is a bi-weekly podcast from RADII hosted by Tom Xiong and Eva Xiao, and produced by Jacob Loven. On each episode, the team will tackle a different timely tech-related topic, providing key insights on all you need to know about the fast-changing nature of innovation in China. Find previous episodes of Digitally China here and subscribe on iTunes here.

In a country where WeChat rules supreme, Bytedance is attempting the impossible. Last month, the Beijing-based startup launched its own social networking app called Duoshan.

It wouldn’t be the first time Bytedance has made larger, more established tech companies nervous. It runs TikTok, a video-sharing app that has quickly grown popular worldwide — a rare feat for a Chinese tech firm — inspiring Facebook to launch its own competing app called Lasso.

The startup has also already started butting heads with Tencent. Last year, the heads of both companies became embroiled in a public spat on WeChat, where the Bytedance CEO accused Tencent of copying Douyin — the Chinese version of TikTok — and blocking it in WeChat to slow its growth. A few months later in a separate case, Tencent sued the startup for 1RMB (0.15USD) for defamation.

As large tech firms solidify their monopolies around the world — Google dominates search, Tencent owns social — it is becoming increasingly difficult for newcomers to challenge tech giants on their own turf. So will Duoshan be successful? And is Bytedance the company that can finally break Tencent’s hold on social?

Listen to the latest Digitally China episode below or find it (and previous episodes) on iTunes here.

Digitally China
    Digitally China is a bi-weekly podcast from RADII hosted by Tom Xiong and Eva Xiao, and produced by Jacob Loven. On each episode, the team will tackle a different timely tech-related topic, providing key insights on all you need to know about the fast-changing nature of innovation in China.

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