After ban on Clubhouse, other audio apps rise in China. But Beijing is listening in.

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The Clubhouse application on the Apple App store

Synopsis

The Cyberspace Administration of China said in a March notice that it had summoned staff from about a dozen Internet companies to meetings to evaluate relatively new features on their apps, with a special focus on audio-based chatting. China’s Internet regulator is concerned over audio apps’ ability to sway public opinion and “mobilise society”.

By Timmy ShenThe brief rise and fall of U.S. audio drop-in app Clubhouse in China reflects the country’s big potential, but also the unique challenges facing audio-app makers seeking to tap it.Back in February, the original Clubhouse — which lets users chat on topics in real time using ad hoc online groups — became an overnight sensation in the world’s largest internet market, and quickly spawned a generation of imitators. But the party ended

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