Dmonstudio, a fashion shopping app launched three months ago by TikTok parent ByteDance, said over the weekend it has ceased operations, marking an abrupt end to what was once considered a bid to challenge fast-rising Chinese online retailer Shein.
“We will continue to provide after-sale services to our users who have purchased on our website,” read the notice on the platform’s site.
Dmonstudio registered its online domain in November, according to web hosting platform GoDaddy. In the same month, it started advertising on Facebook, and extended its marketing campaign to Instagram a month later.
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While ByteDance’s ownership of Dmonstudio was reported by several Chinese media outlets, including Jiemian News, the Beijing-based unicorn never officially announced the app’s launch.
ByteDance declined to comment on Dmonstudio’s closure on Monday.
Dmonstudio, which described itself as “an online shopping mall featuring the latest in women’s fashion apparel and fashion accessories”, said it distributed globally via a large number of warehouses and shipped to over 100 countries.
Before its demise, the platform was widely viewed in the industry as one of the most promising rivals to Shein, the popular app that dethroned Spain’s Zara and Sweden’s H&M as the top-selling fast-fashion retailer in the US last year, according to data tracking company Earnest Research.
Shein – currently the second most downloaded iOS shopping app in the US and Canada, according to data tracking firm App Annie – manufactures its clothes and accessories in China, and ships worldwide.
The Nanjing-based company – which said in a recent job posting that it was valued at US$50 billion, with annual sales reaching 60 billion yuan (US$9.4 billion) in 2020 – is seeking an initial public offering in New York, according to a Reuters report last month.
Following Shein’s success, several Big Tech companies in China have made forays into the fast-fashion e-commerce market, including Post owner Alibaba Group Holding, which launched the e-tailer AllyLikes last October, targeting consumers in North America and Europe.
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