Chinese online video broadcast platform Tiange (also known as 9158) and mobile Karaoke app Changba have been working on connected Karaoke clubs, trying to disrupt an entertainment experience Chinese have been OK with for many years.

What they have in common is they want the equipment in Karaoke clubs, the TV display and the song-ordering system & machine, to get connected so that everything can be controlled with a mobile app or through touch commands.

Kuwo, the online music service which tapped into online singing show business like Tiange’s, launched last week a Karaoke solution with Thunderstone, a Chinese supplier of KTV software and hardware founded a decade ago by Xiaomi co-founder Wang Chuan.

Thunderstone has developed an API for apps like Kuwo’s to integrate the solution enables users to order songs through a third-party mobile app that includes Karaoke feature. Apps that have adopted the solution include Kuwo’s, Baidu Music, and Xiaomi Music. The Thunderstone solution is also available on WeChat that users can order songs, skip a song or Like a singing by sending commands on its public WeChat account.

The Thunder System
The Thunderstone System
The Kuwo Karaoke App
The Kuwo Karaoke App

Karaoke Participants can join one “room” on Kuwo by scanning a QR code. Other features such as rating and virtual gift sending are available for users to interact with each other. Thunderstone said they were developing more social products such as social games for users who don’t like singing but would like to join their friends, according to the report by Sohu (in Chinese) — You must wonder why they don’t meet with their friends somewhere else, but that’s what does happen in China.

Thunderstone also said they were in talks with Alipay, hoping to enable users to make payments with the online payment solution.

One of the biggest advantages an Internet-enabled system has is the song pool in the Cloud can be updated at once for all devices loaded with it. This is the main selling point for Thunderstone to sell traditional Karaoke bars.

Changba, however, doesn’t want to work with the conventional. It is reported that it will lease buildings that are much smaller than the traditional ones and available in as many places as possible. — Doesn’t it like building a convenience store chain?

The Thunderstone system isn’t developed on top of Android, the operating system embedded in almost all of the newly emerged smart hardware products in China. But Thunderstone said they were developing an Android-based one, according to the aforementioned report.

Tracey Xiang is Beijing, China-based tech writer. Reach her at

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