Short-video app Douyin, which is known outside of China as Tik Tok, found that one gateway it relied on for onboarding new users – via WeChat – had been shut down on Tuesday.
Douyin/Tik Tok, owned by world’s currently most valuable startup Bytedance, stated Wednesday that there was no technological malfunction on its side, adding that it had no idea why new users could no longer log in via their WeChat accounts.
Previously, new users could log in to Douyin via their third-party accounts on WeChat, QQ, or Sina Weibo.
WeChat belongs to Tencent, one of China’s biggest internet giants and in some ways a rival to the younger firm Bytedance. WeChat did not comment when contacted by 36Kr, KrASIA’s parent company.
This is not the first time that Bytedance faced sniping from Tencent, as its another social app Duoshan was blocked from opening within WeChat’s browser for “containing unsafe content and receiving user complaints” on Jan 15, the day it was launched, along with two other social apps, one called Liaotianbao and the other Matong (which means toilet).
Bytedance has been viewed as a potential threat to Tencent’s social media empire, although it still has a long journey ahead. The firm expected to barely meet its 2018 revenue target with US$7.4 billion to US$8.1 billion , due to delayed monetization and dampened ad spending in a sluggish national economy.
Editor: Nadine Freischladsee