China’s most popular Metaverse app removed from Apple’s App Store

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What’s up: Metaverse social app Zheli (啫喱) has been removed from Apple’s Chinese App Store after apparently falling victim to its own sudden and runaway success.

The publisher Beijing Particle Information Technology Co. Ltd. said in social media Publish (link in Chinese) on Sunday that it shut down Zheli that day due to “technical issues” including crashes, delays 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 that 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 the Chinese Apple Store in the three days to Feb. 13, overtaking Douyin, WeChat and Alipay with an average of 272,000 downloads per day.

Fund: The Zheli app allows users to create avatars in a virtual reality world where they can invite up to 50 friends to their virtual apartments, post photos, share stories and chat.

It first appeared in the App Store on January 20.

Metaverse, a tech industry buzzword describing virtual immersive platforms, has driven dozens of companies in China to declare that they will build in the digital field of the future. Baidu Inc. has launched Xirang, a metaverse application that allows users to explore its virtual environment via smartphones or virtual reality glasses.

Read more

In depth: Chinese companies exaggerate metaverse ambitions, official grumbles aside

Quick Takes are condensed versions of China-related stories for quick news that you can use.

Contact Reporter Manyun Zou ([email protected]) and editors Heather Mowbray ([email protected]) and Flynn Murphy ([email protected])

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