Clubhouse Copycats Arise in China Following Ban of Audio Chatroom App

Following the Feb. 8 ban of the invite-only social media app Clubhouse, which helped to spark a renaissance of audio chatroom communication in China, two copycat products have already been fully developed and launched in a race to replace the app within the domestic market.

SEE ALSO: Clubhouse Banned in Mainland China

On Feb. 11, a team from live video broadcasting app Inke launched Duihuaba on the lunar new year’s eve, which features key components resembling those of Clubhouse. “The entire product, from research and development, to design and testing, only took the team six days,” claimed Yousheng Feng, the chairman of Inke. 

According to Yuhang Jiang, the project leader of Duihuaba, the app has more than 4,000 registered users and 1,000 active users as of Feb. 20, with the average usage time close to three hours. 

In contrast with Clubhouse, which went viral in China in the wake of a GameStop discussion saga jointly held by Tesla and SpaceX founder Elon Musk and Robinhood Chief Executive Vlad Tenec, Duihuaba kickstarted its operations by inviting the participation key opinion leaders (KOLs) from a range of realms and industries.

According to Feng, Duihuaba represents more than just an entertainment platform – at the core of its business is knowledge sharing and the exchange of ideas among KOLs.

Another similar app, Capital Coffee, has been developed by Chinese technology news outlet 36Kr. Users of this emerging platform can invite friends to join the platform using mobile phone numbers. 

In addition, newly registered users can fill in information registration forms, which include names, cell numbers, and occupations. The Capital Coffee team regularly reviews the details of new users, then sends an invitation text message to qualifying individuals.

Presently, the app’s overall number of users and chatrooms are relatively small, but the app has now firmly established a user and content foundation upon which 36Kr can seek to build.