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Miaoya and 45ai: China's Hottest AI Photo Apps Overload Servers Due to Massive Demand

Updated: Dec 28, 2023

[Edited] In the realm of artificial intelligence (AI) apps, Miaoya has emerged as the latest sensation in China.

Artificial Intelligence
Photo: Handout

This portrait generator charges a mere 9.9 yuan (US$1.4) to create stunning avatars in various styles. The app has gained such immense popularity that servers have been overloaded with consumer demand, resulting in some users waiting for more than 24 hours to receive their portraits.

Miaoya, also known as Fabulous Duck, is a highly sought-after mini-program on Tencent Holding's super social app, WeChat. Users can upload a single headshot and a collection of recent photographs, which are then transformed into a series of stylized portraits, including standard ID photos and professional portraits.

Since its launch on July 17, Miaoya has captured the attention of users across China, sparking hopes that AI technologies can be a profitable venture in the country's vast market. This surge in interest comes on the heels of the frenzy surrounding ChatGPT, a conversational bot introduced by San Francisco-based OpenAI last November. Chinese tech giants like Alibaba Group Holding, Baidu, and have all jumped on the AI bandwagon, recognizing its potential to enhance their existing services.

Zhang Dingding, an internet industry commentator and former head of the Beijing-based research firm Sootoo Institute, noted that Miaoya is the first popular consumer AI product in China since the advent of ChatGPT. He believes that similar products will flood the market due to their low entry barriers. Additionally, users are likely to share their Miaoya-generated photos on social platforms like WeChat and Xiaohongshu, China's social e-commerce platform, further fueling the app's popularity.

Credits: Handout

The developer behind Miaoya is a relatively unknown company called Weixu Internet Technology, which shares an email contact with Youku, the Alibaba-owned video platform. While Alibaba, the parent company of South China Morning Post, did not immediately respond to requests for comment, it is clear that Miaoya's success has paved the way for similar AI-powered services.

One such mini-program, 45ai, was launched last week and quickly gained traction. It offers a range of photo styles, including a Barbie-inspired option based on the popular Mattel character. However, the high volume of traffic caused technical issues for 45ai, prompting the company to provide solutions for users.

While the popularity of apps like Miaoya and 45ai is undeniable, the question remains whether they can translate their success into sustainable profits or if they will fade away like many other Chinese internet fads. Some consumers have expressed disappointment with the results, citing issues such as capturing unwanted body features or feeling disconnected from their own avatars.

  • Miaoya, a popular AI app in China, offers portrait generation services at a low cost.

  • The app has overwhelmed servers due to high demand, resulting in long wait times for users.

  • Miaoya's success has sparked hopes for profitable AI ventures in China's vast market.

  • Chinese tech giants have embraced AI technologies to enhance their services.

Source: SCMP

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