Clubhouse is the latest trend and everyone wants to jump aboard this train. The audio-only chat app, which is currently running an invite-only model, has started a new-age revolution in the social media era - one that is not confined to tweets and statuses. The rising popularity of Clubhouse and the exclusivity of the platform has left a void - one that has got Chinese companies' attention.
TikTok owner ByteDance is reportedly working on a Clubhouse clone app for China, joining the growing number of similar apps launched in the past month alone after Clubhouse was blocked in the country in early February, Reuters reported.
China censorship and Clubhouse clones
Censorship in China is nothing new and it is surprising Clubhouse was accessible for the time that it was in the country. There was a huge interest in discussions held on sensitive topics such as Xinjiang detention camps and Hong Kong independence. It was only a matter of time before CCP took notice and blocked the app in the country, like every other international app.
China has a local alternative to all sorts of apps like Google Maps, Google search, Facebook, Twitter and more. Now Clubhouse is the new rage and it's only fitting to see Chinese companies give in to the demand and temptation. Bytedance's Clubhouse clone is reportedly in early stages and it was the discussion about TikTok and ByteDance on Clubhouse that prompted its interest in the popular service.
More to come
Another big name that's jumping the bandwagon of this niche audio-only chat service is Xiaomi, which is reworking its Mi Talk into an invitation-only audio service, the report added. This is targeted at professionals and many other apps from various companies are likely in the pipeline.
The Chinese clones for Clubhouse will naturally abide by the rules of the country, accommodating censorship and government oversight. Any defiance would naturally get the service blocked. It won't be a surprise if there would be some sort of system to ensure the conversations are kept in check to keep politically sensitive topics at bay.