After smartphones, ByteDance now plans to enter the search business
Short-video app Tiktok’s owner ByteDance is entering the search business, and has also recruited staff from tech giants like Google, Microsoft, and Baidu to launch its search engine, according to Bloomberg.
The search engine will be embedded with ByteDance’s own apps including its Beijing-based news service Jinri Toutiao, allowing users to quickly look for related news and trends online. The company will also make profits from advertising, the wire service reported.
The startup’s search engine will compete with Chinese domestic search giant Baidu. Founded by Robin Li in 2000, Beijing-based Baidu is the first search engine that introduced hyperlinking on the internet.
The announcement comes a week after ByteDance confirmed its plans to produce smartphones, which will be pre-loaded with its own apps. It plans to do the same through a partnership with device-maker Smartisan Technology.
ByteDance is currently recruiting for ‘byte beat search department’, as posted on WeChat, and as reviewed by YourStory. The company claims its products and services for other apps are used in 150 countries, engaging more than 600 million users on a daily basis.
The internet company has navigated its way into hardware and technology, and worked on a number of apps. ByteDance-operated TikTok has close to 300 million users in India and became the most downloaded app in the country in Q1 2019.
ByteDance also announced that it will roll out a music streaming service later this year and has secured deals with music labels like Times Music and T-Series.
But its journey has not been smooth-sailing in India and was met with a number of regulatory hurdles.
In April, the Madras High Court asked the Supreme Court to ban TikTok, citing adverse impact on ‘mindset of children’.
Moreover, politicians like 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.