TikTok's parent company wants to make a smartphone

TikTok's parent company wants to make a smartphone



TikTok is a popular mobile app for creating and sharing short videos.


TikTok's parent company is eyeing up the smartphone industry.

According to The Financial Times, which cited to sources familiar with the matter, China's ByteDance, which owns popular streaming app TikTok, is looking to develop its own smartphone.

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These sources told The Financial Times that this new project is the brainchild of founder Zhang Yimin, who has been "dreaming" of creating a phone that would come preloaded with the company's apps such as news aggregator Jinri Toutiao and video streaming app, TikTok.

TikTok is hugely popular for its app that lets users post short, creative looping videos, surpassing Instagram for global downloads last year. Its parent ByteDance is the most valuable startup in the world.


The news comes as the US-China cold war intensifies and puts increased pressure on global tech companies. This could potentially impact ByteDance's ability to sell these phones in the US.

ByteDance is following in the footsteps of both Facebook and Amazon, who have both launched their own-brand phones in the past but ultimately abandoned them. Amazon recently hinted that it might take a second attempt at it, however.

Read more: Amazon hints that it may return to the smartphone market after its $170 million Fire phone fiasco

Some analysts are skeptical as to whether ByteDance can succeed where others have failed.

"There's basically no space for them in the mass market," Jia Mo, a Shanghai-based analyst at Canalys told The Financial Times. "They lack experience and advantage in supply chain, in channels . . . so their likelihood of being successful is very low."