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Bytedance working on TikTok smartphones; to compete with Xiaomi, OnePlus

BusinessToday.In     May 28, 2019

TiKTok's parent company Bytedance isn't satisfied being the most valued unicorn in the world which is probably why it is now venturing into the smartphone territory to take on big guns like Xiaomi and OnePlus. The Beijing-based company has decided to add one more jewel to its crown and include smartphones to its existing portfolio.  The company already has TopBuzz, Lark, Feiliao, Doushan and a yet to be named music streaming app under its belt.

According to The Financial Times, the ByteDance CEO Zhang Yiming always wanted to build smartphones. The Chinese company recently acquired the patent portfolio of smartphone maker Smartisan and got hold of some of its employees. ByteDance had claimed that the acquisition would help it to "explore the education business," but this recent news has given a completely new angle to the purchase.

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A smartphone with apps like TikTok preloaded will be the perfect way to grow for Bytedance and explore newer markets and expand. The device is likely to be a budget offering considering that most of TikTok's users are young people who may not have a very high budget for a smartphone. Bytedance isn't the only Chinese company which is looking to build a phone for its apps. Selfie app maker Meitu had earlier built a smartphone preloaded with its collection of photo editors. Later, Xiaomi gobbled up the selfie phone brand of Meitu.

Not much is known about the new TiKTok phones or its specifications and design; however the new smartphone future could be throttled by the US governments' attitude towards Chinese phone majors. Also, many companies like Amazon have tried making phones and preloaded them with specific apps, but have failed. Bytedance has also faced challenges in India. Recently, the Madras High Court had directed the Centre to ban TikTok, saying that it promoted pornography and inappropriate content.

Edited By: Udit Verma

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