InWeChat-dominated China, there’s no shortage of challengers accessible claiming to create one more social journey. The most modern creation comes from ByteDance, theworld’s most priceless startupand the operator within the abet of TikTok, the video app that has consistently topped the iOS App Retailerover the last few quarters.

The novel supply is is namedFeiliao (飞聊), or Flipchat in English, a hybrid of an prompt messenger plus interest-primarily based mostly forums, and it’s currently accessible for every iOS and Android. It arrived simplest four months after Bytedance unveiled itsvideo-centered chatting app Duoshanat a buzzy press match.

Screenshots of Feiliao / Image supply: Feiliao

Some are already calling Feiliao a WeChat challenger, but a nearer look presentations it’s focusing on a extra enviornment of interest need. WeChat, in its bear ethical, is the plod-to set of residing for everyday communication besides to facilitating funds, automotive-hailing, food transport and various forms of comfort.

Feiliao, which actually interprets to ‘fly chat’, encourages customers to create forums and discussion groups centered around their penchants and hobbies. As its app descriptionwrites:

Feiliao is an interest-primarily based mostly social app. Right here you will salvage the familiar [features of] chats and video calls. In addition, you will gawk novel friends and portion what’s relaxing; besides portion your everyday lifestyles for your feed and work along with terminate friends.

Feiliao “is an start social product,” acknowledgedByteDancein a commentary supplied to TechCrunch. “We hope Feiliao will connect of us of the same interests, making of us’s lifestyles extra various and enticing.”

It’s unclear what Feiliao skill by claiming to be ‘start’, but one door is already shut. As expected, there’s no recount manner to transfer of us’s WeChat profiles and buddy connections to Feiliao, and there’s no approach to log in via the Tencent app. As of Monday morning, links to Feiliao can’t be opened on WeChat, whichneutral no longer too long within the past crossed1.1 billion monthly energetic customers.

On the just a few aspect, Alibaba, Tencent’s long-time nemesis, is enabling Feiliao’s funds feature thru theAlipaydigital pockets. Alibaba has also partnered with Bytedance in other places, most notably onTikTok’sChinese language model Douyin the set particular customers can promote items via Taobao stores.

In all, Flipchat is extra equivalent to one more blossoming social app — Tencent-backed Jike — than WeChat. Jike (pronounced ‘gee-keh’) lets of us gawk lisp and repair with every assorted in retaining with diversified issues, making it one in all the closest counterparts to Reddit in China.

Jike’s CEO Wa Nen has taken noticed of Feiliao, commenting with the 👌 emoji on his Jike feed, asserting no extra.

Screenshot of Jike CEO Wa Ren commenting on Feiliao

“I mediate [Feiliao] is a product anchored in ‘communities’, a lot like groups for hobbies, key understanding leaders/celebrities, of us from the same city, and alumni,” a product manager for a Chinese language endeavor tool startup suggested TechCrunch after trying out the app.

Though Feiliao isn’t an instantaneous bewitch on WeChat, there’s tiny doubt that the combat between Bytedance and Tencent has heated up very a lot because the mature’s navy of apps captures extra user attention.

Fixed with a noveldocumentpublished by study firm Questmobile, ByteDance accounted for 11.3 percent of Chinese language customers’ total time spent on ‘broad apps’ — these that surpassed 100 million MAUs — in March, as in contrast to 8.2 percent a 300 and sixty five days earlier. The percentage controlled by Tencent became 43.8 percent in March, down from 47.5 percent, while the closing portion, divided between Alibaba, Baidu and others, grew simplest a tiny from 44.3 percent to 44.9 percent over the final 300 and sixty five days.