Jinri Toutiao parent company ByteDance is reportedly planning to launch a messaging app as the firm sets its sights on WeChat and escalates its rivalry with tech giant Tencent.

The service, dubbed Flipchat, is going to take the form of an independent app, people close to the matter told Chinese media, adding that ByteDance has approached several senior staff members on WeChat’s team. ByteDance declined to comment on the news.

The company acquired the English domain name flipchat.cn on October 22 through a Chengdu-based subsidiary, according to domain name and IP lookup service whois.  The same company also registered a series of domain names such as fl5.co, flipchatapp.com.

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Emma Lee

Emma Lee is Shanghai-based tech writer, covering startups and tech happenings in China and Asia in general. We are looking for stories related to tech and China. Reach her at lixin@technode.com.