In the first quarter of this year Tik Tok, an international version of Douyin that launched in late 2017,
became the world's most downloaded iPhone app, excluding games a rare feat for a Chinese social app.
It has done well in Indonesia and Thailand. At home it led app-store rankings from January to May.
It claims to have a user base of 300m in China, more than Kuaishou, another short-video app in which Tencent has a stake.
Its appeal has prompted Communist Party outfits to set up accounts, and, on one occasion, state censors to place restrictions on it.
All of which has provoked Tencent into providing a "defensive product", notes Xue Yu of IDC China, a consultancy.
In April Tencent resuscitated its short-video app, Weishi, a year after closing it.
Its angst may stem from the fact that every firm wants "a top-of-mind app",
头条个人投资者、硅谷创业学校Y Combinator的Anu Hariharan表示，
says Anu Hariharan of Y Combinator, a Silicon Valley startup school, and a personal investor in Toutiao.
WeChat has hardly lost its oomph. A state agency recently reported that WeChat made up 34% of China's total mobile-data traffic in 2017.
To advertise, Douyin still relies on users sharing its videos on WeChat's public feeds (hence its ire over the blocked videos).
Still, the share of time spent by Chinese mobile users on messaging slipped from 37% to 32% in the year to March, says QuestMobile,
while that spent on watching short-form video has risen from 1.5% to over 7%.
Meanwhile, Douyin has introduced its own private-messaging function, further challenging WeChat.
In May, an eassy put out on WeChat by a former tech journalist lit up social media.
In "Tencent Doesn't Have a Dream" he argued that the firm had become chiefly an investment firm buying up other startups and had lost its innovative edge.
One bit of evidence was that by the time Tencent had registered Douyin's rise, its window for a counter-attack had all but closed.
The naysayer claimed his treatise drew 1m views. Still, his readers all came to WeChat.