Chinese tech giant ByteDance has made the majority of its novels on its popular Toutiao app free to access, following a general trend in the fiercely competitive publishing sector.
Starting from Tuesday, all of Toutiao’s “recommended” novels will be available to read for free, ByteDance said in a statement.
ByteDance also plans to integrate all the fiction writing currently on Toutiao into a dedicated channel called “Tomato Novel,” the statement said. The company claims that Tomato Novel has amassed more than 10 million daily active users since launching last May.
About 2,000 of the 20,000 fiction writers who regularly publish content on its platforms have contracts with ByteDance, the company said.
Launched in 2012, Toutiao is one of ByteDance’s biggest app offerings and is widely used in China with content including news feeds, short videos, books and games. ByteDance’s other key offering in China is Douyin, the local equivalent of the popular short video app TikTok.
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