Bytedance launches video chat app to take on Tencent’s WeChat

The logo for Beijing ByteDance Technology Co.'s Jinri Toutiao mobile app is displayed at the company's headquarters in Beijing, China, Photographer: Giulia Marchi/Bloomberg

Bytedance Ltd., the world’s most valuable startup, unveiled a new video-based messaging service designed to take on Tencent Holdings Ltd.’s dominant WeChat.

Bytedance launched the new service, named “Duoshan,” during a live-streamed event in Beijing on Tuesday. Similar to Snapchat, the app lets users send short-lived videos, GIFs and images to each other.

Best known for its news aggregation service Toutiao and short video clip sharing service Tik Tok, Bytedance is putting pressure on WeChat, which has more than a billion users and is considered a must-have in China. Tencent has used the popularity of WeChat to underpin its other businesses, including its gaming operations.

In a move that will likely boost its popularity in time for Chinese New Year next month, Duoshan will facilitate the exchange of red packets – digital payments that have become a new-age tradition among China’s netizens.

Duoshan will initially focus on the Chinese market.

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Singapore Reporter/s

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Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.