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The maker of China’s viral video app TikTok is considering making its own smartphone, according to a new report.
Beijing-based Bytedance is said to be valued at around $75-billion, and that’s largely thanks to the success of TikTok and its other app Toutiao, a new aggregator that uses AI within China.
That said, it seems like the startup is readying a much larger pan in hopes to fry a much bigger fish.
The Financial Times (paywall) on Monday, quoting two sources, believes the firm is set to delve into the hardware business, readying its first smartphone. That’s pretty much all the information garnered from the report.
That said, it’s an interesting time for a startup with as much clout as Bytedance to be considering a smartphone debut.
For one, the global smartphone market has shrunk somewhat, with sales slowing in major markets. Chinese hardware firms have also come under scrutiny of late, with Huawei perhaps the most detrimental example.
Bytedance will also come up against stiff competition in China from the likes of Huawei, Xiaomi, Vivo, Oppo and even Apple.
That said, perhaps the firm will collab with one of the heavy hitters for a once-off device. We have seen one-off smartphones and devices make a marketing splash before: Snap’s Snapchat Spectacles come to mind, as well as the Pepsi phone. The real question is though, does the world really need a TikTok smartphone?
Feature image: TikTok logo, by Bytedance