Chinese microblogging website Weibo Corporation has taken down an Instagram-like application three days after its release and apologized following indictments of plagiarism about the app’s logo, in a stumble for efforts to find new sources of growth.
Weibo, developed by Sina Corporation in 2009, is one of China’s most organized social networking companies alongside the likes of Tencent Holdings. But it has been searching for new ways to grow in the face of competition from startups including short video apps Douyin and Kuaishou.
The firm, sponsored by Alibaba Group Holding, rolled out image-sharing app Oasis Monday. Local media compared it with Facebook’s Instagram app as it had a similar interface and allowed customers to browse, share, and edit photos and videos through the app. Instagram is blocked in China.
By Wednesday, it ranked as one among the top free apps on Apple Inc’s Chinese App Store.
However, Weibo then took the app offline after a microblogger stated the logo was almost identical to one created by a Korean film studio for the Ulju Mountain Film Festival in 2015.
“We apologize to the designer and also to our mates that care for us!” the app stated in a Weibo blogpost. “We especially thank the person who brought this to us.”
“We have started an internal inspection of our design course and contacted the designer to solve the copyright matter,” it said.
A Weibo representative didn’t instantly respond to an emailed request for remark.