The Beijing-based company has continually updated its app list, with a team working tool called Lark, an Feiliao instant messaging application, and another music streaming app. Now, it seems that the company is about to take a step into the hardware land.
Accordingly, Bytedance is planning to develop its own smartphone. A spokesman for the company declined to comment, but this rumor is not surprising, since the launch of smartphones pre-installed with its software has long been a popular way that companies Chinese Internet companies use to increase their users.
Besides, Bytedance really has to expand channels to attract users. After a few years of hot growth, last year, Bytedance failed to reach its sales target in the first place as brands increasingly poured less money into advertising.
Some companies were ahead of Bytedance, including selfie Meitu application developer, who also produced their pre-installed smartphone photo editing tools, and recently the company sold hardware to Xiaomi, when that Xiaomi is trying to attract more female users as well as acquire new applications in the market, including Snow's B612 camera application and Faceu's Bytedance.
Many others chose a less hardware-dependent approach in the early days of the Internet in China. Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent – the trio of power often referred to as BAT so their dominance in the Chinese technology industry – focused on developing custom Android ROMs, incorporating some features over The original ROM version of the phone manufacturers.
Alibaba's ambition also expressed through an investment of US $ 590 million in Meizu in 2016, in which the e-commerce giant takes on the role of developing a customized operating system exclusively for manufacturers. Export this phone. Most recently, in March, the company that owns WeChat, Tencent, has partnered with Razor-based smartphone maker in a variety of hardware-related projects.
Before the information about Bytedance developing a smartphone appeared, there were some related clues. In January, the company confirmed that it had acquired some patents and recruited many employees from Smartisan phone manufacturer, although at that time, Bytedance only said the purpose of this was to "explore business opportunities in the field of education"It is a curious statement, because Smartisan has nothing to do with education. There is only one reason for this cooperation: to help start up the mobile Internet with hardware development capabilities.
In fact, a source said that the founder Bytedance is Zhang Yiming "has long dreamed of a phone preinstalled with applications of Bytedance ". However, the company's hardware field trip is not going to be easy, at least in China, where smartphone sales are cooling down, and competition is getting fiercer among companies. Famous as Huawei, Vivo, Oppo, Xiaomi and Apple.
Bytedance now has a huge advantage at home thanks to the "empire" they built from mobile applications. This is one of the few Chinese Internet startups – if not the first – to find a foothold in the international arena. Their TikTok application has always been in the top of the global mobile application rankings for months, despite some unpleasant barriers in some major markets.
In particular, in the United States, the Federal Trade Commission has penalized TikTok for invading child privacy laws. The Indian government – a country that has contributed significantly to the growth of TikTok over time – has also temporarily banned the application because of allegedly illegally posting content.
While the US market can be said to be quite difficult to penetrate, because the government's concerns around the security issue that Chinese companies can cause, India is a colorful playground. grease for Chinese brands. A study conducted by Counterpoint showed that in the first quarter of 2019, Chinese manufacturers – led by Xiaomi – controlled 66% of the Indian smartphone market. That means Bytedance with Smartisan allies will not only face Indian opponents but also face many "familiar faces" from the home market.