Kuaishou terminates Zynn video app after scare off US tanks amid controversy

Kuaishou terminates Zynn video app after scare off US tanks amid controversy

One of China’s biggest tech companies is killing off a short video app that briefly made its way to the United States last year before becoming embroiled in a series of bitter controversies.

Kuaishou technology, whose eponymous app is a major rival to ByteDance Inc.’s Chinese version of TikTok, said on Wednesday it would be shutting down services for another of its offerings, Zynn.

The platform hit the top of the download charts in the United States shortly after its launch in May 2020, thanks in part to its system of paid users who signed up or referred friends.

But it quickly fell out of favor amid accusations of predatory pricing, plagiarism of TikTok’s layout, and pilfering of user content on other social media platforms.

In June, Republican Senator Josh Hawley asked the United States Federal Trade Commission to investigate Zynn, likening his model to a “traditional pyramid scheme.”

That same month, tech publication Wired reported that some online influencers discovered that their videos had been uploaded to the app from other platforms without their consent.

The Google Play Store made Zynn unavailable for download less than a month after its debut, a move that an app spokesperson later called an “isolated incident,” AFP reported at the time. .

Kuaishou will cease providing services to Zynn on August 20, Reuters reported on Wednesday. The company said in a statement that its strategy for foreign markets “remains unchanged.”

In addition to Zynn, Kuaishou’s overseas offerings include video sharing platforms Kwai, which enjoys strong success in South America, and Snack Video, which is popular in South Asia.

Kuaishou has around 1 billion monthly active users (MAUs) across all of its platforms around the world, CEO Su Hua said in June.

TikTok said last year that it had around 690 million MAU in the world as of July 2020. The Chinese version of the app, Douyin, has around 550 million MAU.

This story has been updated to correct the number of monthly active Kuaishou users. The company has around 1 billion.

Contact reporter Matthew Walsh ([email protected]) and editor-in-chief Michael Bellart ([email protected])

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Anne G. Cash