It’s been a busy couple of months for Bytedance, one of the world’s most valuable startups and the operator of globally popular video app TikTok. The Beijing-based company has continued to grow its list of apps to include the likes of work collaboration tool Lark , an instant messenger called Feiliao as well as a music streaming app, and now it appears to be taking a bold step into the hardware realm.
Bytedance is planning to develop its own smartphone, the Financial Times reported( paywalled) citing two generators. A spokesman from Bytedance declined to comment on the matter, but the rumor is hardly a astonish as smartphone pre-installs have long been a popular way for Chinese internet companies to ramp up user sizes.
There’s also need from Bytedance to carve out more consumer possession directs. After a few years of frenzied swelling, Bytedance failed to stumbled its receipt target for the first time last year amid slow-witted ad spending in China, according to a report by Bloomberg.
Some of Bytedance’s precedes include selfie app creator Meitu, which improves smartphones pre-loaded with its suite of photo journalists and recently sold this segment to Xiaomias the latter tries to capture more female users and immigrants, including Snow-owned camera app B6 12 and Bytedance’s Faceu, close on Meitu’s heels.
Others have taken a less asset-heavy approach in the early days of the Chinese internet. Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent — known collectively as the BAT for their preeminence in China’s tech world — all worked on their own usage Android ROMs , which come with extra features compared to a inventory ROM pre-installed by a phone manufacturer.
Alibaba’s ambition likewise revealed in a $590 million be invested in Meizu in 2016 that ensure the eommerce being take up the challenge to develop a tailored operating system for the handset maker. More recently in March, WeChat owner Tencent teamed upwith gaming smartphone maker Razor on a number of initiatives that cover hardware.