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As the company behind TikToka has become the most prestigious start in the world



TikTok is inevitable right now, not just teenagers paying attention – this is a shaky business world. Bytedance, the owner of the wildly popular short-form video application, is now estimated at more than $ 75 billion after the new investment round. This means that Uber has unexpectedly lost his long-standing title of the world's most valuable technological startup to the underdeveloped challenges of China.

It could be forgiven because he did not hear the name of Bytedance before the recent news. The founder, 35-year-old Zhang Yiming, rarely gives interviews, and the presence of the company's facing west is near non-existent. But the company's global ambitions are real and so are its chances. Bytedance is the first Chinese internet company with significant, honestly engaged companions all over the world, which means it is worthy of serious attention.

On its website, Bytedance claims that "one of the first companies to launch mobile technology of the first machine learning technology," Zhang saw the opportunity to "combine the power of artificial intelligence with mobile Internet growth to revolutionize the way people consume and receive information . "But what about teens singing karaoke into their selfie camera through TikTok?

Bytedance's leading product in China is actually Jinri Toutiao ("Today's Headlines"), a massively popular news gathering service that uses AI to track readers' habits and push them from different sources. Most of the content is extremely low eyebrows and can be called "clickbait" if not due to the fact that people are returning. Since launched in 2012, Toutiao has collected hundreds of millions of active daily users that are hooked to its personalized combination of articles.

Bytedance believes his algorithmic approach to content could work around the world, and has developed applications like Toutiao for other markets. Helo, for example, is similar to a product intended for India with support for 14 local languages, and TopBuzz is similar in English. But his biggest effort in the Western markets has been directed to creative communities so far. Last year, the company bought a short film application called Flipagram and renamed it as Vigo Video, followed by purchasing Musical.ly to join a similar Douyin service. Bytedance, as reported, even tried to buy Reddit in 2016 but was denied.

With TikTok, called Musical.ly and Doujin, Bytedance has a global hit. The company says it has collected more downloads from Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and YouTube in September and October, and TikTok now uses more than half a billion people worldwide a month. The application was downloaded almost 80 million times in the US, even with Jimmy Fallon characters who gave him high profile recommendations.

Speaks representative Bytedance Border that TikTok uses AI technology in a variety of ways, ranging from recognizing filter faces to the recommended engine in the For You feed. "Artificial Intelligence enables all Bytedan content platforms," ​​says spokeswoman. "We are producing intelligent machines that are capable of understanding and analyzing text, images, and videos using natural language processing technology and computer vision, which enables us to offer the most relevant content to our users and empower creators to share moments that are important to everyday life for the global audience. "

Of course, TikTok's dedicated and fast-growing audience would not say that app review has a connection with AI. But the success of the app follows the familiar Bytedance form, which has shown the amazing ability to launch, grow, and maintain the services that users have.

However, Bytedance's growth in China was not without conflict or controversy. The most significant achievement of the company is to achieve success levels without any of the internet mega giants in the country such as Tencent, Alibaba or Baidu. Alibaba was rejected this year after expressing interest in investing or acquisition, according to Reuters, while Tencent says he had separated from a small role in Bytedance some time ago.

Bytedance is, in fact, locked in a fierce rivalry with Tencent, especially. The founders of Zhang and Tencent, Pony Ma, went public one by one, and companies filed more lawsuits against each other. In the last clash this summer, Bytedance Tencent accused of blocking TikTok videos from their platforms, including the dominant WeChat messaging application; Tencent responded to sue Bytedance for defamation and anti-competitive practices.

Tencent is the most valuable company of any kind in Asia, but Bytedance has overtaken it with TikTok, allowing him to seek greater influence on the wider social networks of the world. Although it can be argued that Tencent's ownership league legends Riot Developer Games and 40 percent stake in Fortnite the Epic studio gives it links to hundreds of millions of players around the world, TikTok is still a moment for Chinese Internet services.

And that put Tencent on the defensive. Only last week, the company launched a new short-spelled Mp-based video app called Hapi, which has more than mild similarities to Bytedance's Pipixia, a derivative of Bytedance's own Neihan Duanzi, which Chinese authorities closed earlier this year for hosting – the sparkling vulgar content that "sparked strongly annoyed internet users ".

The incident asked Zhang to publicly apologize for "publishing a product that collided with fundamental socialist values," and points out the potential pitfalls for online platform work in China. Tencent has also been in conflict with the government, and has recently been affected by the restrictions on video games and gaming. But if Bytedance can use what looks like greater agility in business abroad, it might be a key advantage for a younger company. Of course, you will have to look out for similar competition overseas. TikTok has recently achieved a traditional social-networking ceremony that Facebook unreasonably removes. Bytedance's news service inevitably rises to point to the same algorithmic traps that Facebook has for years hit; company applications are accused of spreading false news in countries like India and beyond.

Should it be considered the most valuable launch in the world? With financial resources from the SoftBank and Sequoia Capital programs that drive the valuation so high, Bytedance will not have a lot of options except that it will eventually send the IPO if it ever wants to raise more money and return the money to investors. But with such a large number of hired users and steep uphill, there should also not be too much trouble finding ways to gain profits.

Valuing is obvious, and it would be entirely reasonable to suggest that, say, Uber will ultimately be a bigger business in the future. At this point, however, it would not have been so reasonable to ignore Bytedance together. It is the first Chinese company to take advantage of the wealthy social media appetite of the West, which could be very valuable.


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