TikTok’s owner ByteDance has confirmed plans to produce smartphones after entering into a partnership with device-maker Smartisan Technology.
Smartisan Technology was planning to make smartphone before the deal, and has been in development for seven months now, reported Reuters.
The Chinese company’s plans to go beyond news and internet sensation apps became apparent when it began investing in other sectors. According to media reports in July, ByteDance has hired several staff from JukeDeck, a London-based startup, which specialises in AI-generated music.
The company was earlier reported to be working on a smartphone, which would come pre-loaded with its own apps, according to a report by Financial Times.
Its most popular app, TikTok, allows users to make short videos. Known as Douyin in China, it has more than 300 million monthly users in the country, and ByteDance currently competes with the likes of Baidu and Tencent.
And in India, TikTok topped the list of the most downloaded apps, according to a report by App Annie. It saw 88.6 million new users in the Q1 of 2019. After wooing its users in India, the app is already available in 10 Indian languages.
In addition to this, BytDance was earlier looking to set up its own data centre in India after several allegations came its way. The company was issued a notice, along with a set of 24 questions alleging misuse of its platform for ‘anti-national activities’.
Congress leader Shashi Tharoor had said in the Lok Sabha that the app poses a threat to national security by illegally collecting user data and sending it to China.
In February this year, The Ministry of Electronics and IT (MeitY) was said to have proposed new rules for apps that have more than five million users.
Sachin Sharma, Director of sales and partnership, TikTok India, told YourStory in a previous interview.
“Some of the most interesting trends and hashtag challenges that take the world by the storm actually comes from TikTok India."