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Xiaohongshu sues four MCNs for posting fake reviews

Jan 20, 2022
Social media and e-commerce platform Xiaohongshu announced on Wednesday that it has filed lawsuits against four multi-channel network (MCN) organizations for posting fake reviews. The MCNs are allegedly engaged in fabricating positive reviews for brands or influencers to help drive sales of certain products. Xiaohongshu said it is seeking an immediate halt to the posting of the allegedly fraudulent content on its platform, as well as demanding a RMB 10 million ($1.6 million) indemnity from each of the accused parties as compensation for Xiaohongshu users who may have been adversely affected. The Shanghai-based company said it has banned 81 brands and deleted more than 172,600 posts since December 16 as part of a campaign to remove fake reviews and restore trust in the platform. [Sina Tech, in Chinese]

ByteDance cuts nearly 100 jobs in investment unit: report

Jan 19, 2022
Chinese tech giant ByteDance has laid off nearly 100 employees in its strategic investment unit, Chinese media outlet Tech Planet reported Wednesday, citing several sources with knowledge of the matter. Team lead Zhao Pengyuan has been transferred to the office of the company’s president together with four other members of the senior management team, according to the report. A ByteDance representative confirmed the “ongoing adjustment” of the investment team, but sought to portray it as a normal annual reshuffle to “strengthen business focus” and “reduce investments in businesses that have low synergies with other lines of service.” The company says that some details regarding the changes are still under discussion, adding that it plans to transfer the employees in the investment team to other departments. [Tech Planet, in Chinese]

CATL launches EV battery swapping project as competition heats up

Jan 19, 2022
CATL on Tuesday launched Evogo, a a fast system for replacing battery packs in electric vehicles (EVs). The battery maker said Evogo enables a dead battery pack to be removed and replaced with a fully charged one in just one minute for a 200-km (124-mile) travel. A full battery swap by rival Nio’s stations takes three minutes and gets owners a fully charged battery pack offering a driving range of 450 km. Nio is currently the biggest player in the swapping segment, operating over 700 stations nationwide as of November. CATL plans to establish swap stations in 10 Chinese cities but did not disclose a timeline. [CATL release]

NetEase Cloud Music launches beats trading platform BeatSoul

Jan 19, 2022
On Tuesday, NetEase Cloud Music, the music streaming arm of Chinese gaming giant NetEase, rolled out BeatSoul, an online trading platform for music beats and instrumental tracks. Users can buy and sell original beats on the platform, which will operate as a free service for now. In November, NetEase Cloud Music, which hosts more than 300,000 music producers, entered a strategic cooperation with global music marketplace BeatStars, providing customized beats for music products of NetEase Cloud Music. [Sina Tech, in Chinese]

Starbucks teams up with Meituan to expand delivery services in China

Jan 18, 2022
Starbucks has entered into a partnership with food delivery giant Meituan in China following the expiry of its exclusive three-year deal with Alibaba’s at the end of 2021. Under the deal, Meituan users will be able to order Starbucks coffee and snacks through the app, a service previously only available through rival . The two companies will also launch a new service which will allow Meituan users to make bookings for private coffee tastings and classes at Starbucks stores. [Reuters]
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