Just as some popular Chinese mobile apps have difficulty finding footing in the U.S., American-made mobile apps are continuing to run into trouble in Asia. The rise there of a South Korean Snapchat clone, Snow, shows how hard it is for American companies to replicate their initial success in the U.S. in overseas markets, according to the New York Times.
Like Snapchat, Snow is a photo and video messaging app complete with filters and the ability to append cartoonish dog ears to your selfie. But unlike Snapchat, Snow is not banned for China’s 700 million internet users, allowing it to scoop up what would be Snapchat’s user base. Since it launched in September, the app has racked up 30 million downloads. This problem isn’t unique to Snapchat. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are all blocked in China, a policy that has allowed local and regional players to deploy sticky social platforms (and clones of U.S. apps) while also snagging the lion’s share of the world’s largest internet market.