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China tech

China had 'Clubhouse' tech years ago -- so why didn't it take off?

Users say local apps can't match freedom and global reach of US version

China has many Clubhouse-like apps, but users say none can be a "true alternative" to the U.S. platform. (Photo by Ken Kobayashi)

PALO ALTO, U.S. -- After spending almost eight hours every day on Clubhouse last week, Xie changed her profile picture on the trendy voice-chat app to a QR code for her WeChat account on Monday night.

"Please add me on WeChat, so we can stay connected after Clubhouse is banned," she said in a Clubhouse chatroom where over a hundred users had gathered to discuss signs that the app was suddenly being blocked in mainland China.

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