While SHEIN has its origins in China it is one of the biggest shopping apps in the United States, SHAREit has been banned in India despite being massively popular elsewhere, and Likee is chasing TikTok — but desperate to avoid a similar fate.
China’s app makers are having to be agile in a world where key markets have turned hostile to their country’s tech.
They are either going under the radar in territories where the war over privacy, security and geopolitics rages — or are moving to friendlier markets to win millions of downloads.
Experts say that could signal an unstoppable rise for China’s smart and responsive tech, depending on the long-term damage that security and diplomatic squabbles may bring to the Made in China brand.
For now, the strategies of Chinese-owned platforms — quick reflexes to their customer base and aggressive social media marketing — are winning fans in unexpected places.
Fast-fashion online retailer SHEIN has deployed a legion of influencers and celebrities in the US, including singers Rita Ora and Katy Perry, to soar up the app store rankings.
The platform also advertised a Perry-curated range of affordable tees, dresses and accessories to coincide with her album launch this year.
The company now boasts one of the top five free shopping apps on Apple’s app store in the US, Australia and France, according to US-based research agency Sensor Tower.
“Many of their global users will actually be unaware that they are dealing with a Chinese company,” Hong Kong-based retail analyst Philip Wiggenraad said of such apps.
In a February post on WeChat to recruit suppliers, SHEIN said it had operations spanning more than 200 countries, with 2019 sales exceeding 20 billion yuan ($2.96 billion).
– Catch me if you can –
Even TikTok, battered by an ownership dispute
TikTok rival Triller Inc. is in talks with blank-check acquisition companies about a merger that could take the company public, a media report said.
The video-production-focused social-media company is negotiating a possible deal with special purpose acquisition companies, Reuters reported.
Triller is working with investment bank Farvahar Partners, sources told Reuters.
SPACs, or blank-check companies, are publicly traded entities formed specifically to find and merge with operating companies.
Triller is also in talks with investors to privately raise as much as $250 million, Reuters reported. That effort, led by UBS, has so far secured $100 million at a $1.25 billion valuation, sources told Reuters.
Triller has said it seeks to capitalize on TikTok’s uncertain situation in the U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration has ordered TikTok’s Chinese parent, ByteDance, to shed the app due to concern that U.S. citizens’ personal data might be accessible to China’s communist government.
Tiktok has 100 million U.S. users and Triller has a fraction of that figure, Reuters reported. Triller told CNBC in early August that it had 65 million monthly active users on its app.
Triller is controlled by the media industry veteran Ryan Kavanaugh and the healthcare executive Bobby Sarnevesht, Reuters reported.
- Video app Triller is exploring the possibility of an IPO, sources told Reuters.
- The company is reportedly in talks to set up a public listing via a merger with a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC).
- It is simultaneously pursuing a private funding round, and sources told Reuters it had raised $100 million at a valuation of $1.25 billion so far.
- The sources said no deal is yet firm, and that Triller is still deciding which path to take.
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Short-form video app Triller, which bills itself as a rival to the wildly successful TikTok, is reportedly exploring an IPO.
Reuters reported Sunday that Triller was in talks with investment bank Farvahar Partners about a potential merger and IPO.
Sources told Reuters the merger, if successful, would be with a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC).
SPACs are essentially shell companies that go public to raise capital in order to acquire a company, allowing their target to easily obtain a public listing.
Triller was simultaneously in talks to raise a private fundraising round, sources told Reuters, adding that it had raised $100 million at a valuation of $1.25 billion so far.
Reuters’ sources said Triller was deciding whether to carry on with the private raise or forge a deal with the SPAC. They added that no deal was certain yet.
Triller was not immediately available to comment on the report when contacted by Business Insider.
Triller has positioned itself as an emerging competitor to TikTok, which it is suing for alleged patent infringement.
Last month it said it had 100 million monthly active users, and CEO Mike Lu told TechCrunch Disrupt on September 15 that the company’s growth was “definitely on a rocket ship.”
TikTok remains much larger than Triller, with 689 million monthly active users
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. government said in a court filing on Thursday it was appealing a judge’s ruling that prevented it from prohibiting new downloads of the Chinese-owned short video-sharing app TikTok.
The Justice Department said it appealed the order to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.
In late September, a U.S. judge temporarily blocked a Trump administration order that was set to bar Apple Inc <AAPL.O> and Alphabet Inc’s Google <GOOGL.O> from offering new TikTok downloads.
China’s ByteDance, which owns TikTok, has been under pressure to sell the popular app. The White House contends that TikTok poses national security concerns as personal data collected on 100 million Americans who use the app could be obtained by China’s government. Any deal will also still need to be reviewed by the U.S. government’s Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS).
Negotiations are under way for Walmart Inc <WMT.N> and Oracle Corp <ORCL.N> to take stakes in a new company, TikTok Global, that would oversee U.S. operations.
But key terms of the deal – including who will have majority ownership – are in dispute. ByteDance has also said any deal will need to be approved by China. Beijing has revised its list of technologies subject to export bans in a way that gives it a say over any TikTok deal.
(Reporting by Diane Bartz in Washington; Editing by Matthew Lewis)
SAN FRANCISCO — The federal government on Thursday appealed a judge’s ruling that prevented the Trump administration from imposing a ban on TikTok, the viral video app owned by the Chinese company ByteDance.
In a filing to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, the Justice Department argued that a preliminary injunction issued last month by Judge Carl Nichols in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia should be lifted.
A Justice Department spokeswoman said it had no further comment beyond the appeal. TikTok declined to comment. It was not immediately clear when the court might act on the government’s appeal.
The government’s decision to appeal the injunction, which delayed TikTok from being banned in U.S. app stores, further escalates the battle between the White House and ByteDance. The move is part of a Cold War between the United States and the Chinese government.
The Chinese government has for years prevented its citizens from using international apps like Facebook, Twitter and other communications services. Since President Trump took office, he has repeatedly moved to stop Chinese companies from investing in and acquiring American companies. Citing national security concerns, the administration has also sought to stop American citizens from using Chinese-owned apps and has worked to banish Chinese technology and hardware from American telecommunications networks.
Beyond TikTok, the Trump administration has sought to block WeChat, the popular messaging app owned by Tencent. Last month, the Commerce Department moved to block American companies like Google and Apple from hosting WeChat in their app stores, as well as bar companies from hosting its data or helping to deliver content to its users.
Scrutiny of TikTok began after ByteDance bought its forerunner, Musical.ly, in 2017. American officials began scrutinizing the deal for national security concerns last year. Mr. Trump and