Douyin, China's version of TikTok, and Toutiao will display a user's IP address location in their profile. Toutiao began testing the feature on April 15, while ByteDance-owned Douyin will start testing at the end of April.
The platforms will display the IP location on users' posts and comments. The platforms will also show from which province in China the user is located, and the country for overseas users. There is no option to disable the privacy-intrusive feature.
Internet users in China have complained about the new feature, citing privacy concerns, especially considering they cannot disable it.
The companies have defended the feature, claiming it promotes transparency and will help maintain “orderly” discussions. It will also prevent users from pretending to be at events they have not attended, joyriding on trending spots for more followers, and spreading “rumors.”
Weibo announced it was testing a similar feature in March.