Different from the incumbent online content aggregators who produce a large portion of their content in-house and depend on traditional display advertising for revenue generation, a new wave of content aggregation apps in China use an open publishing system, an algorithm-powered recommendation engine, and a programmatic advertising system.

This trend is led by four-year-old startup Toutiao (今日头条) that it has surpassed most of the incumbents, including Sina, Sohu and NetEase, in terms of active users and potentially in ad revenue.

Toutiao’s one-year-younger competitor, Yidian Zixun (一点资讯), though not nearly as successful, has attracted investment from two leading smart device makers, Xiaomi and OPPO, who have pre-installed the app in their smartphones. Pheonix New Media, one of the biggest online media companies in China, is also an investor.

Start your free trial now.

Get instant access to all our premium content, archives, newsletters, and online community.

Monthly Membership

Yearly Membership

What you get

Full access to all premium content and our full archives

Members'-only newsletters

Preferential access and discounts to all TechNode events

Direct access to the TechNode newsroom

Start your free trial now.

Get instant access to all our premium content, archives, newsletters, and online community.

Monthly Membership

Yearly Membership

Tracey Xiang

Tracey Xiang is Beijing, China-based tech writer. Reach her at traceyxiang@gmail.com