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TikTok partners with Square to expand social e-commerce

Sep 30, 2021
TikTok announced on Tuesday a partnership with Square, a US digital payment company. The new product, Square x TikTok, lets merchants send TikTok fans to their online stores built with Square. The partnership is reminiscent of TikTok’s Chinese version Douyin directs short-video fans to buy things on Chinese e-commerce platforms, indicating TikTok owner ByteDance is trying to replicate its domestic success in the global market. [American Banker]

WeChat rolls out ‘care mode’ for China’s aging population

Sep 29, 2021
WeChat launched a new “care mode” for elderly and visually impaired users in its latest update. The mode adopts larger fonts, buttons and uses more saturated colors. Tencent is answering Beijing’s call to make apps more accessible for its aging population and helping to close the digital divide. [SCMP]

Founder of Chinese automaker Geely plans to make smartphones

Sep 29, 2021
Li Shufu, the founder and chairman of Chinese automaker Geely, announced plans on Tuesday to enter the country’s smartphone market. Li had formed a new company called Hubei Xingji Shidai Technology, aiming to release its first premium phone model by 2023. Li owns 55% of the new smartphone company, which is headquartered in the central city of Wuhan and partnering with the local government. [Reuters]

Kuaishou restructures operations to improve efficiency

Sep 29, 2021
Yan Qiang, Kuaishou’s senior vice president who led the short video apps’ early commercialization efforts, will leave the company due to “personal reasons” on October 24, according to an internal letter made public on Tuesday. Wang Jianwei, the firm’s head of product, will assume Yan’s role. The Douyin rival also announced organizational restructures, streamlining operations by merging departments into four major business groups: e-commerce, commercialization, globalization, and gaming. [Jiemian, in Chinese]

NetEase invests $120 million in global gaming firm Kepler

Sep 28, 2021
Chinese gaming giant NetEase invested $120 million in game publisher Kepler Interactive. Kepler’s CEO didn’t disclose the company’s valuation but said that the deal would make NetEase a minority investor. Headquartered in London and Singapore, Kepler is currently focused on PC and console games and looking to bring in mobile games and animations. [Reuters]
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