Following all the rages for anonymity and secrecy led by Secret and Whisper, Chinese clones of these hit secret-sharing apps mushroomed this year. In the past month, around eight apps of this genre surfaced in China, pushing the total number of such apps to more than twenty.
It is no surprise to see the popularity of anonymous apps in China, considering the success and buzz around its foreign predecessors . Let’s take a look at the leading ones in Chinese market.
Mimi, which means “secret” in Chinese, was released in March this year. As one of the first Chinese clones of Secret, it became an instant hit weeks after its launch. However, Mimi disappeared from its virtual shelves barely a month after hitting the top spot at Apple app store, probably due to concerns for piracy (Mimi is a near-perfect clone of Secret in interface and icon styles) and spread of “unhealthy” content. Shenzhen Wumii Technology Limited, the developer of Mimi, then rebranded their product as Wumii (no secrets in Chinese) in May after making some improvements on the product. With all the buzz, Chinese app developers started to notice the business potentials of anonymous apps.
Copying the clutter of Whisper, Xiaosheng allows users to scroll right or left to view the secrets published and add picture backgrounds to the secrets. You can sort the secrets of other users by the latest, most popular, or their location.
YY, an online broadcasting platform that trying to expand other vertical sectors, launched Simiquan on May 15. Similar to its U.S. predecessor Secret, Simiquan requires users to register with phone numbers. YY is the first Chinese Internet giant that enters this field.
Different from other anonymous apps that shares secrets on negative aspects of lives, 10years.me approached the secret-sharing demand from a different angle. The platform encourages users, who are mostly youth just started their careers, to share their future dreams or what their lives will be like in 10 years, cause people may be shy away from sharing their hefty goals in social networks that involve close acquaintances. Users can set up their goals or dreams in the homepages which are arranged in timelines.
Several core member of audio social app Papa rolled out Hehe in May 21. Although the app shares the same features with other anonymous apps, the company claimed Hehe can screen the malicious rumors by algorithms.
A team led by Xu Chaojun, the founder of Papa, launched a similar app named Wuya. After entering the app, users are required to give the name of your company or school.
The unavailability of foreign anonymous services like Secret and Whisper in China left their Chinese clones a relatively free space to grow. But the competition in domestic market is going to be more fierce with the arrival of Secret, which has launched a Chinese Android version this June. Whisper, the rival of Secret, has received funds from Tencent in its new financing round this May.
Although Chinese secret-sharing apps, like Mimi have whipped up controversies for piracy, lack of monitoring on contents, or being accused for turning into an unhealthy place for people on the edge, their sheer number indicates that there are still huge demands among the public for anonymous sharing.
This story originally appeared on TechNode.