TikTok owner ByteDance: What to know about the Chinese tech giant

what is bytedance

As estimated by mobile app analytics platform Apptopia, one of ByteDance’s top popular products TikTok’s revenue raised by 310% to over $50 million in the last quarter of 2019. Experts at the time told Forbes those moves reflected the Chinese government’s mandate for the country to be a global leader in health by the end of this decade. And while those millions and millions of users no doubt had an enjoyable time watching clips on the addictive social video app, they also generated a colossal amount of data. This attempt to stay low-profile is perhaps to try to deflect the attention of regulators both in China and overseas. With TikTok, rebranded from the joining of Musical.ly and Douyin, Bytedance has a global hit. The company says it racked up more downloads in the US than Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and YouTube in both September and October, and TikTok now has over half a billion people worldwide using it monthly.

what is bytedance

Amidst the coronavirus crisis, while many companies are busy cutting down their workforce, ByteDance in April 2020, announced that it is hiring staff to fill 10,000 vacant posts in different domains. In 2020, ByteDance is planning to hire 40,000 employees, in a bid to match Alibaba’s headcount. Besides, ByteDance is looking forward to strengthening its position in areas such as e-commerce and gaming. But ByteDance’s segue into the sciences could also simply be a way for the Chinese company to improve its goodwill in the U.S. as talks of a TikTok ban loom and the app faces heavy scrutiny for its effect on the American public and discourse, he added. This is not the first time that ByteDance—which established the ByteDance AI Lab in 2016—has ventured into industries that seemingly have little to do with TikTok, Douyin and social media more broadly. For others, data is less of a concern than the platform’s potential for manipulation of opinion.

Is TikTok owned by Chinese government?

Much of TikTok’s popularity came from viral videos that were shared by Internet influencers and social media stars who had millions of followers. TikTok’s popularity also increased considerably during the COVID-19 pandemic, as millions of housebound social media users turned to their phones for entertainment. In 2020 ByteDance released CapCut, a video-editing software with more than 200 million monthly active users. 90 days after the launch, Toutiao attracted 10 million users to its platform.

The Chinese giant is now one of the most valuable private technology firms in the world, reportedly worth $75 billion, and owns a variety of apps from news aggregators to social media services. Thanks to the addictive content, users spent increasing long time on the App. An active user typically spent more than 60 minutes a day on the platform, only second to Tencent’s Wechat, a social network app for everyday communications. By the August 2016, Toutiao‘s daily active users (DAU) surpassed 60 million, with total users of over 550 million. During 2016, Toutiao also aggressively encouraged content generators such as writers, news reporters and KOLs to set up their accounts on the platform. Leveraging its huge user base, Toutiao shared revenue with the content generators similarly to Youtube, to attract exclusive content and further building its competitive moat.

  1. However, a spokesperson for ByteDance said that it is not working on a smartphone — but it is developing other hardware related to education.
  2. They merged Musical.ly with TikTok in 2018, after which TikTok was made available worldwide.
  3. At this point, though, it wouldn’t be so reasonable to ignore Bytedance altogether.

Tencent has had its clashes with the government, too, most recently being hit by restrictions on video game releases and play time. But if Bytedance can make the most of what appears to be a greater fp markets review agility in operating overseas, that could be a key advantage for the younger company. TikTok recently attained the traditional social network rite of passage of having Facebook brazenly rip it off.

ByteDance’s Success Story—World’s Most Valued Startup

It’s one of the largest news aggregation apps in China and is installed on over 250 million monthly unique devices, according to data from Chinese market research firm, iResearch. The US government have long feared that American users’ data could potentially be transferred to China, and these fears are possibly not unfounded – but they are also not limited to ByteDance apps. Chinese law requires that technology companies support the government in cases of national security.

Its troubles in the US have been well publicised, with Trump calling for a ban on TikTok, citing threats to national security and users’ privacy. But Bytedance have also run into trouble in other countries – in India, for example, TikTok was temporarily shut down in April 2019 as a state ruling said it was spreading pornography. TikTok has now been permanently banned in India for the foreseeable future along with 48 other Chinese apps due to rising political tensions between those neighbouring countries. The UK government has also been investigating whether TikTok has deployed sufficient measures to protect children on the app. During the past decade, ByteDance has proven itself time and again to be a spectacularly innovative and successful company.

The addressable market opportunity for the enterprise business is even larger. ByteDance is reportedly exploring a whole host of new areas that could unlock new monetization potential. It’s looking to expand beyond those services to potentially new areas like smartphones, as it looks for further growth areas — but analysts said that could be a tough task. Earlier this year the president issued an executive order effectively banning the app’s use in the US, and said he would not allow the app to operate in the country unless it was owned by an American company. If you’re serious about marketing in China, we think it’s worth being familiar with ByteDance. In this post, we take a closer look at who Bytedance is, what you should know about them, and what might happen to TikTok in the US.

what is bytedance

At just 10 years old, ByteDance, the most valuable startup in the world, has shattered records for growth. In 2021, with 1.9 billion monthly active users in 150 countries, and an employee base of over 110,000, the company recorded an astonishing $58 billion in revenues. Most users know the company only by its hit short-video app TikTok, which has been downloaded over 3 billion times globally, a feat only trade99 review exceeded by Meta and its family of apps. But ByteDance has actually churned out one wildly successful product after another — among them its initial hit, Toutiao, the most popular news app in China, which today has 320 million monthly active users, and Douyin, a short-video app that preceded TikTok. Respectively, Toutiao and Douyin account for 20% and 60% of the company’s total advertising revenues.

The valuation is eye-grabbing, to be sure, and it would be perfectly reasonable to suggest that, say, Uber will ultimately be the bigger deal in the future. At this point, though, it wouldn’t be so reasonable to ignore Bytedance altogether. It’s the first Chinese company to tap into the lucrative social media appetite of Westerners, and that could prove to be very valuable indeed. Tencent is the most valuable company of any sort in Asia, but Bytedance has beaten it to the punch with TikTok, allowing it to claim fx choice reviews a degree of greater influence on the wider social networks of the world. Such companies are required to make their messaging apps interoperate with rivals and let users decide which apps to pre-install on their devices, among other obligations, starting from March 7. And while TikTok has taken steps to distance itself from its Beijing parent company, both the Trump administration and some Republicans and Democrats in Congress fear the Chinese Communist Party could use TikTok as a tool to spy on Americans.

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The Commission will also assess any argument put forward by the submitting companies to rebut the presumption that they should be designated as gatekeepers,” the EU competition enforcer said in a statement. Founder, Chairman, and CEO of ByteDance, Zhang Yiming is an entrepreneur and philanthropist. He completed his graduation (software engineering) from Nankai University in Tianjin.

Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) announced that they had begun an investigation in late 2022 into the claim against ByteDance. In 2016 ByteDance released the video-sharing app Douyin, exclusively for users in China. The popularity of Douyin in China inspired the team to develop TikTok for international audiences. TikTok is an app platform that allows users to post short-form videos and share content from their cell phones. TikTok uses advanced algorithmic methods to predict which videos users will enjoy and thus create a personalized assortment of videos for them to peruse on their “For You” page (FYP). The Digital Markets Act (DMA) designates companies with more than 45 million monthly active users and 75 billion euros ($81 billion) in market capitalisation as gatekeepers providing a core platform service for business users.

With funding from the likes of SoftBank and Sequoia Capital driving the valuation so high, Bytedance won’t have many options other than to eventually file an IPO if it ever wants to raise more cash and return money to investors. But with such a large number of engaged users and a steep upward trajectory, it also shouldn’t have too much trouble finding ways to turn a profit. Booking.com last year said it expected to fall into the gatekeeper group this year due to the addition of more users. “The Commission now has 45 working days to decide whether to designate the companies as gatekeepers.

Both Democratic and Republican lawmakers have in recent months called for stricter regulation and inquiry. TikTok does not have advertising yet, but a January report from online trade magazine Digiday said ByteDance is now starting to test ads on the platform, which could open a new revenue stream internationally. One of its earliest and core products is Toutiao, or Jinri Toutiao, which literally translates to “Today’s Headlines”. Toutiao is an AI-powered news aggregator, which uses algorithms to curate news articles and videos based on users’ previous behaviour on the app. This high-level of personalisation makes the app highly addictive, with the average Toutiao user spending 74 minutes a day on it.

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Management currently address these issues by creating innovative and differentiated product features. Going abroad to under-penetrated markets was also another strategy that the management is currently adopting. It also has others like TopBuzz, a platform that recommends trending videos and articles to users, and BaBe, a news aggregation app in Indonesia. Bytedance believes that its algorithmic approach to content could work around the world, and it has developed Toutiao-like apps for other markets. Helo, for example, is a similar product aimed at India with support for 14 local vernaculars, and TopBuzz does a similar thing in English. But so far, its highest-profile efforts in Western markets have focused on creative communities.