Once a smash hit in China’s social media market, Liaotianbao (聊天宝), originally called Bullet Messenger (子弹短信), let go of its “WeChat-challenger” title by dismissing 200 people from its team on March 5. The small number of people who remain will be transferred to its parent company Smartisan Technology (锤子科技).
The Smartisan-incubated app had triggered a war against WeChat shortly after its release on August 20 last year. It soared to top 1 on the App Store and financed USD 22 million within 7 days, forcing the media to ask overnight — “Will Bullet Messenger shake WeChat?”
However, things got bumpy this February as Liaotianbao was asked by the Cyberspace Administration of China to solve its network and information security issues. Pretty soon Liaotianbao was ranking 82 on the social app list and 1317 in the downloads list in the App Store. Behind the scenes, Smartisan CEO Yonghao Luo left the arena quietly, and was no longer a controller or stakeholder in Liaotianbao.
(Reported by Xintong Chen, intern at The Passage)