ByteDance's smartphone project comes after it acquired several patents and hired staff from Chinese phone maker Smartisan earlier this year. ByteDance CEO Zhang Yiming is said to have "long dreamt" of making such a device, and it appears that he is moving closer to realizing that dream. Especially in Facebook's case, users could simply download the apps they wanted on other phones - a challenge ByteDance might face as well.
A smartphone that is somehow focused on optimizing TikTok usage may well find a niche, as the short video app has soared in popularity. Other ByteDance products include content recommendation platform Toutiao and its global counterpart TopBuzz, short video app Xigua Video, and news aggregator News Republic.
Even though a company spokesperson declined to comment on the matter, the development is hardly a surprise as smartphone pre-installs have always been a popular way for Chinese Internet companies to ramp up user sizes, TechCrunch reported on Monday.
A smartphone with apps like TikTok preloaded will be the flawless way to grow for Bytedance and explore newer markets and expand. Amazon tried this with its Fire Phone (launched in 2014) and Facebook with "Home" (launched in 2013). The move is being made as Chinese technology companies are concerned about the effects of USA export bans on Huawei and are trying to support themselves with their own equipment.
Hence, companies like ByteDance, reportedly the world's most valuable startup ($75 billion) right now, are increasing self-dependence. That's not surprising considering most TikTok users are in that exact category.
"They lack experience and advantage in supply chain, in channels.so their likelihood of being successful is very low", he added. A lot of Chinese companies have used this "model" of having smartphone pre-installs for their apps.