ByteDance is an internet technology company that specializes in the development and management of video content. It is one of the largest social media platforms in China, and it has a user base of more than 350 million. In 2018, its revenue reached RMB1.25 billion (US$209 million), up from RMB865 million in 2017.
TikTok was founded by Zhang Yiming, 37, and Romil Hemrajani, 32 in 2015. The app’s name came from a Chinese idiom meaning “to forget oneself,” which Zhang says he chose because he wanted to “make people forget themselves.” As of Net worth Gorilla, Zhang Yiming’s total estimated net worth is $59.4 billion.
The app’s extensive library helps it attain a global audience, with more than 450 million users across 190 countries as of October 2018.
In 2016, ByteDance raised US$100 million through an I-round led by Sequoia Capital China and Initialized Capital, which valued the company at US$1 billion. That year, ByteDance also raised a US$210 million round from Sequoia China and IDG Capital Partners. The company claims that its valuation is around US$5 billion.
As a Bussiness
ByteDance has expanded outside of China to serve markets in Southeast Asia, the Middle East, Africa, and Latin America. For instance, it recently launched a Spanish-language version of TikTok.
TikTok’s revenue is generated from advertising, subscriptions, and other sales channels. It charges users for some features in order to alleviate the platform’s reliance on advertising revenue.
ByteDance plans to expand internationally by building out its technology platforms in different languages and expanding into newer markets. In addition to adding more localized versions of TikTok, the company has developed other apps such as WeChat Mini (an app designed for children) and ByteDance TV (a video streaming service).
In 2016, ByteDance acquired a majority stake in Singapore-based mobile gaming company Kika Tech for $16 million. That same year, it acquired a majority stake in the Indonesian mobile video platform, Viki, for $150 million.
In 2018, ByteDance announced a deal to acquire the assets of social media app Musical.ly for US$1 billion.
The company is also working on an ongoing research project, known as Open AI, which aims to create artificial intelligence that can “learn and adapt to human behavior.”
ByteDance was one of 10 companies selected by Facebook in 2014 to receive US$5 million in funding to develop technology as part of the social media giant’s Internet.org initiative. The company has also worked with Apple and Samsung on “smart camera” and “smart speaker” technology integration with its apps.
What are the Challenges Faced by TikTok?
TikTok’s diverse user base has resulted in some issues for the app’s creators. For example, the app is often used by Chinese users to ridicule other people and share inappropriate content (such as videos of cats getting hit by balls). The app is also known for its “stickers” feature, which allows users to add stickers and drawings to videos.
TikTok’s popularity has also resulted in some fake accounts and spam content. In addition, the app has been criticized for not taking enough action against user-submitted inappropriate content.
The company’s revenue model has also come under scrutiny from investors. For example, in March 2017, Chinese social media giant Tencent Holdings announced that it had invested US$680 million in ByteDance and would be acquiring a majority stake in the company’s subsidiary WeChat. However, ByteDance did not disclose the terms of the deal or who would be selling their shares in the company. This raised concerns among investors who felt that Tencent was getting an unfair advantage over other competitors due to its ownership of WeChat (the most popular messaging app in China).
In January 2018, ByteDance announced plans to change its revenue model by going “fully subscription-based” by the end of 2018. The company also announced that it would be selling a minority stake in the company to SoftBank, a Japanese conglomerate.
What is ByteDance’s Overall Vision?
ByteDance is committed to developing technology and producing content in order to “improve the way people live, work and play.” The company believes that its technology will help users “live better lives through smarter communication.”
The company also plans on using its artificial intelligence research to create intelligent software applications that can “learn and adapt to human behavior.” This could include smart cameras and smart speakers, which could learn which photos or videos users like and share them automatically.
ByteDance also plans on using its artificial intelligence research to create intelligent software applications that can “learn and adapt to human behavior.” This could include smart cameras and smart speakers, which could learn which photos or videos users like and share them automatically.