It seems that TikTok’s parent company ByteDance is planning to expand into new sectors beyond video and news apps. The company has confirmed that it is developing a smartphone with Chinese manufacturer Smartisan. ByteDance has also revealed that the product has no connection with TikTok, CNET reports.
“Reports of our smartphone development strictly refer to a continuation of plans that were in place before ByteDance began working with Smartisan,” a ByteDance spokesperson said. “The product has no connection with TikTok. The focus is on meeting the needs of Smartisan’s existing customer base in China.”
There has been no mention of the phone’s design. At the moment, the rest of the details about the device are still under wraps. Caijing reported that the smartphone had been in development for about seven months. Furthermore, Smartisan is a niche player in the Chinese smartphone market. This further suggests that the phone might not make its way to other countries other than China.
If reports are to be believed, the phone will come pre-loaded with apps from the developer that includes TikTok, News Republic, and TopBuzz among others. It remains to be seen how successful Bytedance’s phone will be as both Facebook and Amazon launched their phones, and later discontinued the products. Beyond TikTok, ByteDance also offers other AI-based video and news apps, including Lark, Helo, Flipchat and Toutiao. However, TikTok, which is a video sharing app, is by far the company’s most popular app.
Besides, recently it was reported that ByteDance is planning to set up a data centre in India. “As a testimony to ByteDance’s recognition of India’s efforts to frame a new data protection legislation, we taking a significant step towards establishing a data centre in India,” the company said. “We are now in the process of examining options for safe, secure and reliable services for our Indian users within Indian borders,” it said. It may take ByteDance 6-18 months to set up the centre at a cost of $100 million, IANS reported. The investment will be part of the company’s commitment to invest $1 billion in India over three years.