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ByteDance CEO urges TikTok diversification as US pressure mounts

BEIJING: The founder and CEO of TikTok proprietor ByteDance will concentrate on including customers of the favored video app in international locations exterior of its strongest markets, in response to an inner employees word seen by Reuters, because it faces political strain in the US.

The word from Zhang Yiming setting out firm targets for November and December comes after lawmakers within the US lately voiced considerations about assortment of consumer knowledge and whether or not China censors content material seen by US customers.

“Proceed to diversify TikTok’s development,” mentioned the word, which was written in each English and Mandarin Chinese language. “Enhance funding in weaker markets,” Zhang added.

The video app is particularly in style with US youngsters and younger adults, drawing scrutiny at a time of rising tensions between Washington and Beijing.

Zhang didn’t point out the strain within the US however urged the agency to boost its capabilities in “dealing with international public affairs” and strengthening consumer knowledge safety.

The Committee on Overseas Funding in the US has began to overview ByteDance’s US$1bil (RM4.16bil) acquisition of the US app Musical.ly, which was subsequently merged into TikTok, Reuters reported this month.

ByteDance did not instantly reply to a request for remark. The corporate has mentioned the Chinese language authorities doesn’t have any jurisdiction over TikTok content material.

Launched simply two years in the past, TikTok has been downloaded 1.5 billion occasions, making it the third most downloaded non-gaming app of the yr, after of Fb’s WhatsApp and Messenger apps, in response to analysis agency SensorTower.

TikTok has confronted regulatory challenges in India and Indonesia, the place it’s also a giant hit. India non permanent banned downloads of the app in April this yr and Indonesia did the identical final yr, largely resulting from considerations about salacious content material.

SensorTower mentioned that India is the primary driver for TikTok’s new downloads this yr, and the app can be in style in Britain, France, Japan, Australia and Canada, in response to App Annie.

In his transient word, Zhang additionally made point out of the corporate’s different apps, such because the Chinese language model of TikTok, Douyin, and Chinese language information aggregator Jinri Toutiao. Each Douyin and Toutiao earn a living from promoting, competing with China’s tech giants Tencent Holdings and Baidu Inc.

He mentioned the objective for Toutiao, one among ByteDance’s main sources of income, was to boost its “monetisation effectivity” and urged staffers to “proceed to place our foot to the ground” for Douyin to widen the app’s benefit over its opponents. – Reuters

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