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