Screenshot of the Youji app. (Image credit: TechNode)

Chinese tech giant Tencent unveiled on Wednesday a new social networking app, Youji, that combines social media and forum features, reported our sister site, TechNode Chinese.

Why it matters: Youji is the third social networking app Tencent has launched in November, an acceleration which highlights the company’s efforts to retain user attention amid tapering WeChat growth and tougher competition from rivals.

  • Chinese internet giants including Alibaba, Sina, Bytedance, and have all been expanding into the social network sector since the beginning of this year, challenging Tencent’s dominance in the sector.
  • The percentage of time Chinese netizens spend on Tencent-backed apps dropped 4.2% to 42% in September 2019 from 46.2% in September last year, according to report from Chinese data analytics firm Quest Mobile.
  • In addition to Youji, Tencent unveiled video networking app Maohu and dating app Qingliao earlier this month.

Details: Youji’s slogan is “record your real life,” and allows users to post about their daily happenings or browse content based on interests.

  • In addition, the product combines a Weibo-like microblogging function with a unique “daily topics” feature, allowing users to follow trending topics, according to tech news site Pandaily.
  • The app is available for download on Apple’s China App Store and is now being tested by users on an invite-only basis.
  • Users can log in via their mobile number or WeChat account. Notably absent is a QQ account login feature, a common sight on new Tencent apps, possibly to avoid competition with the networking app.

Context: Competition in China’s social media space has been climbing since the beginning of this year. Three social apps launched on Jan 15. including Bytedance’s Duoshan; an updated Bullet Messenger from Kuairu Technology-owned, Smartisan-backed Liaotianbao; and Matong, an anonymous social media app developed by Shenzhen-based Ringo.AI.

  • WeChat banned the three social networking rivals within a day of the launches.
  • Weibo launched Instagram-clone Oasis in September, followed by Alibaba’s debut of its social networking app, Real.

Alibaba is testing a new social networking app, Real

Emma Lee (Li Xin) was TechNode's e-commerce and new retail reporter until June 2022, when she moved to Sixth Tone to cover technology and consumption. Get in touch with her via or Twitter.

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