What Happened: Digital fashion is Douyin’s new battleground. As reported by Tech Planet, a digital fashion platform named “Pheagee” is in the pipeline for the Bytedance-owned social media app. It is rumored to involve both virtual fashion and idols, and interact with Douyin e-commerce and Bytedance’s virtual reality business.
Ahead of the debut of “Pheagee,” Bytedance acquired Chinese VR startup Pico in August 2021, which prepared the technological support for the giant’s foray into digital fashion. The company also invested in virtual girl group A-SOUL and the virtual human Li Weike in 2021 and 2022, respectively.
The Jing Take: As gaming and online education have been dampened in China, domestic tech giants are eying growth engines like social e-commerce and the metaverse: digital fashion is the sweet point marrying these two sectors.
Bytedance is not the only one betting on it. Last week, social platform Xiaohongshu announced its collaboration with Shanghai Fashion Week, launching the “Design Verse” project featuring nine homegrown designers and putting up a total of 3,000 digital fashion items exclusively for sale on the platform.
For digital-savvy locals, virtual fashion is nothing new. Augmented reality took off when the pandemic hit the mainland back in 2020 and people couldn’t get the real thing. Two years on, this technology has been shared widely in the public domain — thanks to the virtual try-on feature in the beauty and shoe sectors, as well as interactive selfie filters on social platforms. This means that the time is ripe for something big. If Bytedance’s vision lives up to the hype, it could possibly secure this untapped market, and bring revolutionary improvements to digital fashion.
The Jing Take reports on a piece of the leading news and presents our editorial team’s analysis of the key implications for the luxury industry. In the recurring column, we analyze everything from product drops and mergers to heated debate sprouting on Chinese social media.