Duolingo back in Chinese app stores after 1 year, with a local twist – TechCrunch

Duolingo, the Nasdaq-listed language-learning app, is back in Apple App Store and Android stores in China nearly a year after it disappeared from app stores in the country.

Users in China found the Pittsburgh-based app unavailable for downloads last August amid the country’s sweeping education crackdown, including restrictions on for-profit after-school tutoring. At the time, Duolingo told local media that the company “has received instructions to strengthen the app’s content compliance mechanism.” The app entered China in 2019.

In recent years, China has closed regulatory gaps in apps of all kinds. Data-intensive services, from video games to live streaming platforms, are urged to implement strict content moderation to maintain a “healthy” digital environment.

While the basic services of American titans like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Google have long been unavailable in China, a handful of other foreign tech companies have begun to shut down or voluntarily revamp their products in the country as Beijing has introduced strict new data laws that have led to higher compliance costs.

Yahoo, the parent company of TechCrunch, completely pulled its services from China last November. LinkedIn has rolled out a Chinese version of its professional networking platform with limited functionality. Nike announced this week that it would replace its running app with a localized solution for China.

Those who still view China as a potentially lucrative market will likely stay but work to respond to the country’s changing internet policies. And often this means that the global version of their apps or services will not be compatible with the new Chinese regulatory environment.

Duolingo is among those that continue to operate in China by adapting their service to the country. The reintroduced app, according to its official social media post this week, is free, teaches 41 languages, and comes with gaming features. The most notable update is that it will start teaching Cantonese, the language spoken by residents of Hong Kong and Macao, as well as a significant population of China’s wealthy Guangdong province and the Chinese diaspora around the world.

#Duolingo #Chinese #app #stores #year #local #twist #TechCrunch

Post expires at 4:50pm on Tuesday June 21st, 2022

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