TikTok creator ByteDance to enter smartphone market, following deal with Smartisan
- The world’s most valuable start-up is expanding into new sectors beyond video and news apps
ByteDance, the world’s most valuable start-up, said on Monday it is developing a smartphone, following a deal it made with device maker Smartisan Technology.
In a statement, a ByteDance spokeswoman said a smartphone had been part of development plans.
“The product was a continuation of earlier Smartisan plans, aiming to satisfy the needs of the old Smartisan user base,” the spokeswoman said.
ByteDance, the company behind TikTok video app, looks beyond entertainment with a move into education
The ByteDance smartphone had been in development for seven months, according to a report on Monday by a subdivision of Chinese financial news outlet Caijing. That effort is being led by Wu Dezhou, a former executive at Smartisan, the report said.
Earlier this year, ByteDance acquired a set of patents from Smartisan. Some Smartisan employees also transferred to ByteDance, as part of what the start-up called a “normal flow of talent”.
Founded in 2012, ByteDance has risen to become a leading player in the country’s technology industry, rivalling the likes of Baidu and Tencent Holdings in influence.
Douyin has more than 300 million monthly active users in China, ByteDance marketing manager Zhi Ying said in June. TikTok, its global-facing counterpart, has also grown popular in North America.