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ByteDance revenue growth slowed to 70% in 2021: report

Jan 21, 2022
Chinese tech giant ByteDance saw its total revenue grow by 70% year on year to around $58 billion in 2021, Reuters reported on Thursday, citing people with knowledge of the matter. The growth rate represents a slow down from the more than 100% year on year growth achieved in 2020, with China’s tightened regulations on big tech companies a major factor. The TikTok owner is valued at $353 billion (RMB 2.25 trillion), according to a December report from the Hurun Research Institute. [Reuters]

Alibaba’s entertainment unit transfers Youku shares to subsidiary Tudou

Jan 20, 2022
Alibaba Digital Media and Entertainment Group, the media and entertainment arm of Alibaba, has transferred all of its stakes in video streaming platform Youku to a subsidiary that operates video streaming platform Tudou. This is a normal adjustment within the company, Alibaba told local media on Wednesday. However, industry experts believe the move could underline the reduced importance of Youku, which has continued to bring in losses, in Alibaba’s business priorities. The change comes at a time when Alibaba is seeking to exit media firms as the Chinese government’s scrutiny of the media and technology industry intensifies. China’s top two online video companies, Youku and Tudou, merged in 2012 to create an industry leader which owns more than one-third of the market. Alibaba acquired the entity in a $4 billion takeover in 2016. [Jiemian, in Chinese]

Xiaohongshu sues four MCNs for posting fake reviews

Jan 20, 2022
Social media and e-commerce platform Xiaohongshu announced on Wednesday that it has filed lawsuits against four multi-channel network (MCN) organizations for posting fake reviews. The MCNs are allegedly engaged in fabricating positive reviews for brands or influencers to help drive sales of certain products. Xiaohongshu said it is seeking an immediate halt to the posting of the allegedly fraudulent content on its platform, as well as demanding a RMB 10 million ($1.6 million) indemnity from each of the accused parties as compensation for Xiaohongshu users who may have been adversely affected. The Shanghai-based company said it has banned 81 brands and deleted more than 172,600 posts since December 16 as part of a campaign to remove fake reviews and restore trust in the platform. [Sina Tech, in Chinese]

ByteDance cuts nearly 100 jobs in investment unit: report

Jan 19, 2022
Chinese tech giant ByteDance has laid off nearly 100 employees in its strategic investment unit, Chinese media outlet Tech Planet reported Wednesday, citing several sources with knowledge of the matter. Team lead Zhao Pengyuan has been transferred to the office of the company’s president together with four other members of the senior management team, according to the report. A ByteDance representative confirmed the “ongoing adjustment” of the investment team, but sought to portray it as a normal annual reshuffle to “strengthen business focus” and “reduce investments in businesses that have low synergies with other lines of service.” The company says that some details regarding the changes are still under discussion, adding that it plans to transfer the employees in the investment team to other departments. [Tech Planet, in Chinese]

CATL launches EV battery swapping project as competition heats up

Jan 19, 2022
CATL on Tuesday launched Evogo, a a fast system for replacing battery packs in electric vehicles (EVs). The battery maker said Evogo enables a dead battery pack to be removed and replaced with a fully charged one in just one minute for a 200-km (124-mile) travel. A full battery swap by rival Nio’s stations takes three minutes and gets owners a fully charged battery pack offering a driving range of 450 km. Nio is currently the biggest player in the swapping segment, operating over 700 stations nationwide as of November. CATL plans to establish swap stations in 10 Chinese cities but did not disclose a timeline. [CATL release]
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