As the former president of (now known as TikTok), Alex Hofmann has already accomplished the seemingly impossible: he helped build an app that could compete with social giants like Meta, YouTube or Snapchat. After ByteDance acquired for around $1 billion in 2018, Hofmann left the company to become an investor, but soon decided to go back to developing apps. So Hofmann founded 9count, the parent company of apps like Everland, Helpline, Juju, and the friendship app Wink, which has millions of users.

“There’s a trend I’ve seen in China that a lot of tech companies are building not just one product there, they’re building multiple products,” Hofmann told TechCrunch. He noted that while Twitter continues to work on the same flagship app, a company like Meta grows by acquiring apps like Instagram and WhatsApp. “Of course, having a product is super exciting, but we see the trend that there are more and more different interest groups. Serve them with…

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