(Yicai Global) Jan. 15 -- ByteDance Technology is expected to launch its much-anticipated instant messaging app today as the world's most valuable startup takes aim at Tencent's WeChat in China's increasingly competitive social media space.
The Beijing-based company behind massively popular news aggregator Jinri Toutiao and short-video platform Douyin, known as TikTok in overseas markets, is expected to unveil a social media app focused on video content as it looks to challenge WeChat's dominance, according to online tech news outlet 36Kr.
Two other Chinese tech firms will also launch new social networking apps today as part of efforts to eat into WeChat's one-billion-strong userbase.
Wang Xin, the controversial founder of video app Qvod Player, will debut Matong MT through his Ringle Technology. Its users will be able to post anonymous questions and receive 'red packet' payments for taking part in discussions.
Another Beijing startup, Kuairu Technology, which last year launched social media app Bullet Messenger with backing from smartphone maker Smartisan, will disclose details of its follow-up instant messaging app. Essentially an updated version of Bullet, Liaotianbao will feature voice-to-text transcription, setting it apart from WeChat. The app will also allow users to automatically transfer their chat history over from Bullet.
In the face of this growing competition, the ubiquitous WeChat is not resting on its laurels. Just last week, Tencent's Allen Zhang took to the stage in Guangzhou and spoke for four hours on how he created WeChat eight years ago and where he sees it going in the future, particularly regarding the development of so-called mini-programs.