For example, users have accused the company of deleting articles on BaBe that were critical of the Chinese government. In 2019 TikTok user Feroza Aziz’s account was suspended after she posted a video criticizing the Chinese government’s mass detention of Uyghur Muslims. A ByteDance spokesman initially claimed that Aziz was suspended because of a previous offense that violated TikTok’s policies.

  1. The lyrics are then paired with music from a pre-saved catalogue created within TikTok.
  2. The spokesperson declined to comment on the music streaming product report when contacted by CNBC.
  3. Regulators have also raised concerns about the Chinese government using AI to steal intellectual property from foreign companies.
  4. TikTok is testing a new “AI Song” feature that uses AI to create songs based on prompts that users enter, the company confirmed to TechCrunch.
  5. Like Rabbit, Raven was also a darling for VC capital firms, and it was the only Chinese company to receive funding from California-based US technology incubator Y Combinator.

The company has more than 150,000 employees and operates offices worldwide. ByteDance has over 150,000 employees based out of nearly 120 cities globally, including Austin, Barcelona, Beijing, Berlin, Dubai, Dublin, Hong Kong, Jakarta, London, Los Angeles, New York, Paris, Seattle, Seoul, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Singapore, and Tokyo. He joined the board of Teenage Engineering in May 2020, according to his LinkedIn profile, and started Rabbit four months later. Born in 1990 in Xian, capital of northwestern Shaanxi province, Lyu is known as a star tech entrepreneur. Before Rabbit, he founded a smart home AI device maker called Raven Tech in 2014.

This reflects a British security establishment view that the app is not problematic because it does not process data in China. Separately, Forbes reported in October that a China-based team at ByteDance planned to track two American citizens through the collection of TikTok location data. And while TikTok has taken steps to distance itself from its Beijing parent company, both the Trump administration and some Republicans and Democrats in Congress fear the Chinese Communist Party could use TikTok as a tool to spy on Americans. Amidst the coronavirus crisis, while many companies are busy cutting down their workforce, ByteDance in April 2020, announced that it is hiring staff to fill 10,000 vacant posts in different domains. In 2020, ByteDance is planning to hire 40,000 employees, in a bid to match Alibaba’s headcount. Besides, ByteDance is looking forward to strengthening its position in areas such as e-commerce and gaming.

Meta is letting users uncouple Messenger and Marketplace accounts in the EU

The size and a weight of just 115 grams makes it easily pocketable, as well. Rabbit, started by Chinese technology entrepreneur Jesse Lyu Cheng, said its R1 device priced at US$199, which was unveiled in Las Vegas the same week as CES 2024 earlier this month, has seen five batches of pre-orders sell out since its debut. In March, Chew Shou Zi, the former finance chief at Xiaomi, was poached by ByteDance to become the company’s chief financial officer.

On-the-Go Professional: Must-Have Accessories for Business Travel

They have pointed to laws that allow the Chinese government to secretly demand data from Chinese companies and citizens for intelligence-gathering operations. They are also worried that China could use TikTok’s content recommendations for misinformation. TikTok’s Chinese parent company, ByteDance, has quietly launched four new generative AI apps for users outside of China, Forbes has learned. Dubbed Cici AI, Coze, ChitChop, and BagelBell, the apps were all launched in the past three months and collectively have millions of downloads.

The distrust has already been expressed in scrutiny from regulators and politicians around the world, worried about the amount of data TikTok collects and whether Chinese authorities have access to it. “As the geopolitical situation changes I suspect we will see companies such as TikTok will continue to be treated with some caution in the west,” says Alan Woodward, a professor of cybersecurity at Surrey University. TikTok collects information on bitbuy review how you consume its content, from the device you are using to how long you watch a post for and what categories you like, and uses that information to fine tune the algorithm for the app’s main feed. A US trading firm reportedly owns 15% of TikTok-owner ByteDance, a stake potentially worth more than $15 billion. US trading firm Susquehanna reportedly owns 15% of TikTok-owner ByteDance, a stake that is potentially worth more than $15 billion.

Referring to the Chinese server claim by Internet 2.0, a TikTok spokesperson said the IP address cited in the report is in Singapore and the network traffic does not leave the region. TikTok’s approach to data gathering is more aggressive than WeChat, the Chinese super app that performs multiple functions from messaging to ride-hailing, according to David Robinson, co-chief executive of Internet 2.0. This, the order claimed, paves the way for China to track the locations of government employees, build dossiers for blackmail and conduct corporate espionage.

Woodward says that even if there is no evidence that TikTok is doing anything with user data other than what is being done by the other major social media platforms, the background presence of China will remain difficult to shake for sceptics. TikTok has disputed both the accusations that it collects more data than other social media companies, and that Chinese authorities could access data from its users. In 2021 Android phone users around the world spent 16.2tn minutes on TikTok. And while those millions and millions of users no doubt had an enjoyable time watching clips on the addictive social video app, they also generated a colossal amount of data. During the past decade, ByteDance has proven itself time and again to be a spectacularly innovative and successful company.

In February, the Wall Street Journal reported that a deal to sell TiKTok to Oracle and Walmart had been shelved indefinitely. When Forbes tried to create an account to test Cici, which is designed to look exactly like DouBao, the app repeatedly erred. He says considerable doubt is generated by China’s National Intelligence Law of 2017, which states that all organisations and citizens shall “support, assist and cooperate” with national intelligence efforts.

How ByteDance Became the World’s Most Valuable Startup

Meta has been fighting upcoming regulations in the European Union’s Digital Markets Act (DMA) for months, but no more. The company has announced it will comply with the DMA’s stipulation that it can’t favor its own services or force users to remain inside its ecosystem. This decision will greatly impact Meta’s user experience in the EU, including allowing people to utilize Messenger and Facebook Marketplace without a Facebook account. Meta previously filed an appeal arguing that the two platforms should not be included under the DMA. In one recording a member of TikTok’s trust and safety department said “everything is seen in China”, according to BuzzFeed. ByteDance products have faced government-led investigations and large-scale bans in other countries, including Australia, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Pakistan, and Turkey.

Besides these, there are several other platforms by ByteDance like, BaBe, which is Indonesia’s leading news and content app, Gogokid –  an English learning platform for kids, and Vigo Video – a video-making app. However, as per recent reports (June 2020), ByteDance is set to shut down Vigo Video in India. In the current scenario, owing to the growing tension between China and many countries in the world, made-in-China products including apps are being boycotted by many countries like the USA, UK, Australia, Philippines, Vietnam, and India. Though the growing hate for China has led to ByteDance losing many users, but from the startup point of view, ByteDance no doubt has done a commendable job, as it rose to be the ‘World’s most valuable startup’, just within 8 years of its inception.

Other apps

“Social media pages are a great source of personal detail” for spy agencies, Lewis says, adding that intelligence is now a “big data” game. In the US, Donald Trump in August 2020 signed an executive order that blocked people from downloading the app, which was followed by an order for TikTok to sell its US business. ByteDance took a larger piece of the digital advertising market than fellow Chinese companies like Tencent and Baidu during the first half of 2019.

ByteDance—Founder & Team

Hello and TikTok were banned in India, thereby removing millions of users from the apps’ reach. In addition, in November 2022 the European Union (EU) confirmed the existence of an ongoing investigation into TikTok’s data practices, including data transmissions to China. Despite the trouble with the U.S., ByteDance has continued to expand its business empire under Zhang. The company was founded in 2012 when it launched a platform for sharing jokes in the form of short videos, memes and written posts. The orders were never enforced due to legal challenges and then Trump leaving office. Trump’s successor, Joe Biden, revoked the orders and instead directed the US commerce department to work with other agencies to produce recommendations to protect the data of people in the US from foreign adversaries.

It’s not surprising that ByteDance is also launching generative AI apps in western markets, given the recent surge in demand for bots, and ByteDance’s breakout success with TikTok. Of ByteDance’s four new apps, only one — Coze — is currently available in the U.S., and none are available in the EU. It’s common for tech giants to test products first in smaller markets with less regulatory scrutiny before expanding into the U.S. and the EU.

Lyu has been on Forbes’ 30 Under 30 Entrepreneurs list twice, according to Chinese media reports. The new AI Song feature comes as TikTok has been pushing deeper into the music business. Last year, it launched its own subscription-only music streaming service called “TikTok Music” in select countries to take on companies like Spotify and Apple Music. In recent months, lawmakers in the United States, Europe and Canada have escalated efforts to restrict access to TikTok, the massively popular short-form video app that is owned by the Chinese company ByteDance, citing security threats.

In 2021, with 1.9 billion monthly active users in 150 countries, and an employee base of over 110,000, the company recorded an astonishing $58 billion in revenues. Most users know the company only by its hit short-video app TikTok, which has been downloaded over 3 billion times globally, a feat only exceeded by Meta and its family of apps. Respectively, Toutiao and Douyin account for 20% and 60% of the company’s total advertising revenues. In 2016 ByteDance released the video-sharing app Douyin, exclusively for users in China.