Qutoutiao Inc., a Chinese news platform, announced on Thursday that it will stop service and maintenance of its “We Media” (自媒体 Zì Méitǐ) creative platform from June 30, 2022, as part of its plan long-term content.
In the notice, Qutoutiao reminds We Media authors to withdraw their money as soon as possible, before access to funds from users’ personal accounts ends on June 28. Overdue author accounts are considered to automatically forfeit their account earnings and account balances will be automatically cleared after June 28.
Qutoutiao also asked We Media authors to delete their accounts after withdrawing money to avoid unnecessary litigation. Deletion of individual accounts will expire on June 30, 2022 and overdue accounts will be automatically deleted.
A firm spokesperson responded to Chinese media saying, “Based on long-term content green planning, we have reached content-level cooperation with many third-party content platforms such as Baidu. in order to further optimize users’ reading experience, and conducted a certain amount of content adjustment testing in early April. Based on the results of the content fit test data, we have decided to shut down the We Media creation platform. Following this, we will provide users with content services through Qutoutiao’s recommendation service and by combining content from third-party platforms.
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According to public information, the Qutoutiao was launched in June 2016 and mainly provides entertainment and lifestyle news. It has received investments from many well-known institutions such as TencentCapital Advantech, Capital Shunwei, Xiaomi and InnoVision Capital. In September 2018, Qutoutiao Inc. went public in the United States.
The company’s latest financial report shows that Qutoutiao’s net sales in the third quarter of 2021 was 965.5 million yuan, down 14.6% from 1.13 billion yuan in the same period last year. Meanwhile, net losses totaled 583.6 million yuan, down from 269.4 million yuan in the same period last year, up 116.62 percent year on year.