ByteDance building a clone following China ban on Clubhouse

Image Source: The New York Times

Following China’s ban on Clubhouse, TikTok owner ByteDance is reportedly building a clone, separate from about a dozen other Chinese live-audio apps that were launched in the past month.

Two people familiar with the matter told Reuters that ByteDance’s plans are still in early stages. One source said that the discussions on Clubhouse about TikTok and ByteDance sparked ByteDance executives’ – including CEO Zhang Yimin – interest in the genre.

Before the app was banned by the Chinese government on February 8th, Clubhouse had gained great popularity in China and there were users discussing sensitive issues restricted by the Chinese government such as Xinjiang detention camps and the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests. 

Following the ban in the country, dozens of similar apps have been released in February in China. The success of the app, which saw a boom after the chat between  SpaceX and Tesla CEO Elon Musk and Vlad Tenev, CEO of Robinhood, also didn’t go unnoticed by other global tech giants such as Facebook and Twitter. 

Two people familiar with the matter told the New York Times in February that Facebook is working on a Clubhouse-like audio chat app. Earlier this month, Twitter also announced that it is testing voice based chat rooms feature called ‘Spaces’ with select Android users. The feature is expected to be available for all users this month, a Twitter spokesperson said. 

Written by Jordan Bevan

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