Carol Huang
Jun 11, 2020

Google takes down short video app Zynn amid plagiarism accusation

It has been a dramatic month for Kuaishou's international version, Zynn, which enjoyed launch buzz and gained not only users but also brand attention, only to get taken down by Google.

Google takes down short video app Zynn amid plagiarism accusation

Google has removed Zynn, the overseas version of the Kuaishou short-video platform, from the Google app store one month after the app launched.

Google has not replied to Campaign Asia-Pacific's request for comment, but published reports say the app was presenting content stolen from content creators. This includes content from TikTok celebrities with massive followings, such as Charli D'Amelio and Addison Rae, according to a report from Wired.

The app does not appear to be available in Apple's app store either.

Zynn and TikTok are direct competitors. Zynn's maker Kuaishou is a Chinese short-video app that has a partnership with JD.com. Kuaishou competes heavily with ByteDance's Douyin (the China version of TikTok) in the Chinese market, while Zynn and TikTok were fighting for the international audience.

Zynn used a simple way to approach new users, by paying them small sums for staying in the app and inviting friends. According to app-oriented research company Sensor Tower, Zynn achieved 3 million downloads before it was taken down.

According to Campaign content partner Jing Daily, brands were alert to the fast-growing popularity and potential of the Zynn app. For example, Jing Daily reported that the luxury brand Celine quickly embraced Zynn to drum up brand awareness among its huge Generation-Z user base by launching official channels and partnering with influencers to put out organic, creative content.

Editor's note: Beware if you search for Zynn on the app store now; as usual, pirated versions and potentially fraudulent apps are trying to capitalise on interest in the name.

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