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2020-06-18 10:38:39

A TikTok lookalike has suffered the double whammy of being pulled from the world’s two biggest app stores in less than a week.

Zynn, a video-sharing app funded by Kuaishou, was removed from Apple’s App Store earlier this week, just days after its disappearance from the Google Play Store, amid accusations that it had been stealing content from similar apps, according to U.S. tech news provider TechCrunch.

Beijing-based Kuaishou is a major rival to ByteDance, TikTok’s Chinese parent company.

Now, when internet users click on links to download Zynn from Apple’s App Store and the Google Play Store on the app’s website, nothing happens.

Apart from the plagiarism allegations, Zynn, which was launched in early May, has also been criticized for its controversial reward-based growth plan, which pays users to register, watch videos, and invite acquaintances to use the app.

In a letter to the Federal Trade Commission last week, U.S. Senator Josh Hawley likened Zynn’s reward system to “a traditional pyramid scheme” and questioned its ties with Kuaishou, which he said is subject to the Chinese government’s orders.

Before its removal from the app stores, Zynn was downloaded an estimated 5 million times on Apple’s App Store and 700,000 times on the Google Play Store, TechCrunch reported, citing statistics from SensorTower.

This is an original article written by Ding Yi of Caixin Global and has been republished with permission. The article can be found on Caixin’s website here.

(Header image: exdez/Getty Creative/People Visual, re-edited by Sixth Tone)