ByteDance rival Kuaishou is shutting down controversial app Zynn

Kuaishou Technology, a Chinese firm perceived as a ByteDance rival by many, said on Wednesday it will shut down its controversial short video app Zynn later this month. The app was only available in the U.S.

The firm, which last month said it had amassed 1 billion monthly active users, didn’t offer an explanation for why it was shutting down the app, which was mired in controversy ever since it launched in May last year.

An investigation last year found that Zynn was paying users to watch videos to superficially improve its ranking on the US iOS App Store. The app, a clone of TikTok, was also pulled from the Play Store after reports found the platform was riddled with videos that were stolen from other apps. It was then pulled from the Apple App Store following similar complaints.

In a statement, a Kuaishou spokesperson said the decision to stop services of Zynn won’t affect users in any other market. Kuaishou also operates similar apps in many other markets including South America (as Kwai) and the South Asian region (as Snack Video).

“Our strategy for the international markets remains unchanged,” said the firm, which raised $5.4 billion in its Hong Kong IPO early this year.

Zynn app failed to attract users in the U.S. The app had just 200,000 monthly active users in June of this year, down from about 3 million in August 2020, according to mobile insight platform App Annie (data of which an industry executive shared with TechCrunch.)

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