What’s new: Metaverse social app Zheli (啫喱) has been removed from Apple’s Chinese App Store after apparently becoming a victim of its own sudden and blistering success.
Publisher Beijing Particle Information Technology Co. Ltd. said in a social media post (link in Chinese) Sunday that it had taken down Zheli that day due to “technical issues,” including crashes, lagging, and outages caused by unexpected demand.
“We never thought that Zheli would be so loved by so many users in such a short time,” the announcement said. “If the number of users increases further, no matter what we do it will be difficult to provide the best user experience.”
At the same time, the publisher claimed Zheli had been the victim of a “sustained and organized” attack involving fake reviews, without providing details.
Zheli was the most downloaded free app on China’s Apple Store in the three days to Feb. 13, surpassing Douyin, WeChat and Alipay with an average of 272,000 downloads per day.
Background: The Zheli app lets users create avatars in a virtual reality world where they could invite up to 50 friends to their virtual apartments, post photos, share stories, and chat.
It first appeared in the App Store on Jan. 20.
The metaverse, a tech industry buzzword describing virtual immersive platforms, has driven dozens of companies in China to declare that they will be building in the digital realm of the future. Baidu Inc. has released Xirang, a metaverse app that allows users to explore its virtual environment through smartphones or VR goggles.
Quick Takes are condensed versions of China-related stories for fast news you can use.
Contact reporter Manyun Zou (firstname.lastname@example.org) and editors Heather Mowbray (email@example.com) and Flynn Murphy (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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