TikTok owner ByteDance develops anti-fraud system to fight fake traffic in China
- ByteDance’s short video app Douyin has a new anti-fraud system that can identify fake accounts automatically
- New techniques such as ‘group control software’ are said to be at least 100 times more efficient at targeting the platform than traditional methods
Douyin has developed an anti-fraud system that can identify fake accounts automatically, ByteDance announced at an event in Beijing on Tuesday.
Illicit businesses using new technologies have become at least 100 times more efficient at targeting the platform than traditional methods, according to Douyin representative Zhang Xisheng. “The black and grey industries have been continually upgrading their tactics, and we need to upgrade our own methods in turn to counter them,” he said at the event.
Since September, Douyin has launched a campaign focusing on the companies operating “group control software”: a technology tool that can control hundreds of phones to imitate real user behaviours such as following people and commenting on posts automatically with the purpose of generating fake traffic and monetising it.
Group control software has been used on Douyin to gain fake followers, likes and comments for short videos, as well as on live streams to boost viewer counts and buy virtual gifts.
Beijing-based ByteDance has sued four companies that offered such software in the past two months, and courts in Hangzhou and Guangzhou have ordered some of these companies to stop operating, it said.
Global expansion of TikTok and other Chinese tech companies is likely, only not in the West
Despite the massive popularity of TikTok globally, ByteDance’s home market is still its largest and most profitable: short video apps are an internet staple in China, where hundreds of millions of people flip through endless video streams and watch live-streaming shows every day.
But Chinese regulators are also tightening regulations for the short video and live-streaming industries, and one of the areas they are focusing on is fake traffic.
Last month, the Cyberspace Administration of China released draft provisions which specifically prohibited the “fabrication or alteration of followers, views, likes, transactions and other traffic numbers” on live-streaming platforms. The draft provisions also required such platforms to tighten their management of broadcast operators based on their ratings, clicks, transactions and other metrics, monitor the live streams in real-time and extend the storage time of live stream videos.