TikTok owner ByteDance is poised to launch a standalone teamwork app, dubbed Feishu Docs, upping the rivalry with Tencent and Alibaba, which both have similar offerings in the office collaboration segment, local media outlet 36Kr reported.
Feishu Docs, which will reportedly debut as soon as this month, as hundreds of millions of employees are still quarantined at home due to the coronavirus, will combine functions already seen in Google Docs and Drive, such as cloud-based docs, spreadsheets, and slides, and will be synchronized with ByteDance’s office app Feishu, according to the report.
After investing heavily in Wuhan-based cloud-based doc platform Shimo Docs, and productivity tool Mubu, Beijing-based startup ByteDance has been giving signals about its intention to bet high on the office collaboration sector.
ByteDance is the largest shareholder of Shimo after investing in the company’s Series A round in 2017, and the firm’s Series B round in 2018. During the coronavirus outbreak, Shimo has seen a six-fold increase in new users and enterprises on its platform, according to its CEO Wu Bing, who added that the platform has 28 million users and over 370,000 companies registered as of February.
In March 2019, ByteDance also fully acquired a Chinese productivity tool Mubu, a mind-map application similar to XMind, KrASIA reported
ByteDance has been boosting its office app portfolio after releasing all-in-one workplace collaboration platform Feishu (known as Lark overseas) last September and Feishu Meeting, an online conference application, on Feb 28. Amid the coronavirus, ByteDance has made Feishu available to the public for free.
Meanwhile, major competitors are also entering the growing office app and productivity industry. Tencent, the owner of WeChat Work, introduced Tencent Docs and Tencent Meeting, two standalone applications, in a bid to capture more individual users, industry watchers said. Tencent Docs announced it hit 160 million monthly active users (MAUs) on March 2.
Also, Alibaba’s office app DingTalk partnered with Microsoft-equivalent WPS Office in 2018 to give DingTalk file editing functionality. WPS Office, developed by Zhuhai-based Chinese tech company Kingsoft, is one of the most popular office software in China. Kingsoft Docs, a derivation of WPS Office that features cloud drive and co-editing, announced on March 3 that it had 239 million MAUs on March 3.