It's finally been confirmed that TikTok's owner ByteDance is developing a smartphone, according to Reuters. Previously, there were reports that ByteDance is working with Smartisan, a Beijing-based technology company, to experiment with its own hardware. The news has arrived as ByteDance is expanding into new ventures, in addition to video and news apps.
ByteDance said a smartphone had been part of Smartisan’s development plans before it made a deal with ByteDance.
“The product was a continuation of earlier Smartisan plans, aiming to satisfy the needs of the old Smartisan user base,” the company said in its statement.
The handset would come pre-installed with several of ByteDance's own apps, a strategy that's fairly common among the Chinese smartphone brands. ByteDance has many popular smartphone apps available in the market. For instance, TikTok, which is a highly popular viral video-sharing app in India. It also offers a Chinese version of TikTok called 'Douyin' in China.
For ByteDance, this would be an ideal strategy to expand its presence and reach in order to get more users to use its services, a strategy that companies like Facebook and Amazon have failed to crack in the past.
ByteDance has its own news aggregator app in China called Tautio. Similarly, it offers a news app called 'News Republic' in India. It also has a user-generated content app Helo, photo-editing app FaceU and viral video apps like BuzzVideo and Vigo Video.
ByteDance has recently started investing in sectors not directly related to social media. Recently, ByteDance ventured AI-generated music with Jukedeck deal.
Recently, Ministry of Electronics and IT threatened to ban TiKTok and its sister app Helo in India in response to serious allegations by Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh affiliate Swadeshi Jagran Manch that both the apps are being used for anti-national activities.
In April, TikTok was briefly banned by Madras High Court over concerns of "encouraging pornography" through its platform. The ban was later revoked and TikTok promised to improve the overall app experience and environment.