As the Covid-19 pandemic tightened its hold on Southeast Asia, shuttering businesses and making remote working imperative, two of China’s largest technology companies did something unprecedented. Alibaba and ByteDance dropped the cost of their productivity services, offering them to Southeast Asian businesses for free.
For businesses rushing to digitise operations in order to keep things ticking, the two services—Alibaba’s DingTalk Lite and ByteDance’s Lark—were a blessing.
DingTalk Lite—a customised version of Alibaba’s DingTalk service—allows video calling for up to 302 participants, unlimited live video for up to 45,000 attendees, and company messaging. The stripped-down app shipped without the office management tools of the core DingTalk service to appeal to new audiences.