Bytedance introduced on Tuesday a light version of its enterprise messaging app Feishu, just two months after releasing its video conferencing app Feishu Meeting.

Why it matters: The TikTok owner is doubling down on enterprise-facing services as remote work apps gain traction globally due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

  • The company began building a whole line of enterprise collaboration apps beginning with Feishu, known as Lark in overseas markets, as it ramps up its offerings for the workplace from instant messages and cloud storage to video conferencing.
  • The Beijing-based company reportedly plans to launch a Google G Suite clone soon, to focus on cloud-based file management and document editing.
  • Chinese tech peers Alibaba and Tencent are leading the country’s workplace app market now with Dingtalk and WeChat Work.

Details: Feishu Jisuban, or Feishu Lite (our translation), is a lightweight version of the original app, offering a simplified user experience by focusing on key features.

  • The new app comes with features from the original Feishu app, including messaging, calendar, file sharing, and video conferencing.
  • Administrative features, like applications for recruitment, procurement, and reimbursement, are absent in the light version.
  • Users are unable log in to Feishu and Feishu Lite at the same time.

Context: Feishu was developed as an internal tool before Bytedance began marketing the platform as a business in 2019. The international version was launched in April 2019 as Lark.

  • Market leaders Alibaba and Tencent are also building a more comprehensive lineup of workplace apps over the past few months.
  • Alibaba introduced Zoom clone Alibaba Cloud Conference last week, shortly after the launch of its Dingtalk Lite in early April. Tencent rolled out an international version of Tencent Meeting, a Zoom rival the company introduced in December 2019.
  • Tencent’s WeChat began blocking links to Feishu inside the app. Users have to manually copy and paste Feishu links into browsers to access them.

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.