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ByteDance launches e-signature platform, competing with Alibaba, Tencent in SaaS space

The e-signature market in China was estimated to reach more than half a billion USD last year.

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

ByteDance, the company behind short-video app TikTok, has recently introduced a new electronic signature and document management application, called Dianzi Qian, or “Let’s Sign” in English, as the adoption of e-signatures accelerates among enterprises, local media outlet TechPlanet reported on Friday.

Dianzi Qian was developed by a ByteDance subsidiary called Xingyun Chuangji, according to local enterprise data vendor Tianyancha, and provides user identity authentication, cross-device digital signatures, and document tracking and management. The app is available for individual or corporate accounts.

E-signature is a technology that allows parties to get legal consent or approval on electronic documents through a digital verification, reducing the burden for enterprises to obtain handwritten signatures.

In China, e-signature technology has become increasingly popular as enterprises and organizations embrace Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) applications to digitalize their businesses. Per data from Chinese research firm Analysys, the volume of the e-signature market in the country last year was estimated to reach RMB 3.6 billion (USD 508 million), with a staggering growth of 129.9% compared to 2018’s level.

Alibaba-backed e-signature service provider E Qianbao currently leads the sector with a share of 34%. The company raised USD 100 million in a Series C round led by Alibaba’s affiliate Ant Financial in October 2019, marking the largest fundraising round in China’s e-signature sector, KrASIA wrote.

The runner up is Fadada, invested by social giant Tencent with a 20.5% share. It snagged nearly RMB 400 million (USD 56 million) in March last year, led by Tencent and Tiger Global.