TikTok Owner Forms Joint Venture with Chinese State Media on Blockchain

ByteDance, owners of TikTok, have partnered with China’s Shanghai Dongfang Newspaper Co. to develop business lines, including artificial intelligence and blockchain.

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According to Bloomberg, ByteDance will have a 49% stake, while Shanghai Dongfang Newspaper Co. will control the remaining majority.

The new firm has registered capital of 10 million yuan in total, approximately $1.4 million.

Shanghai Dongfang Newspaper Co. is the operator of a popular Chinese digital news outlet ThePaper.cn.

The joint venture began on Dec. 10 in Jinan city, the capital of eastern China’s Shandong province.

Representatives of ByteDance and Shanghai Dongfang Newspaper didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

TikTok is a video-sharing social networking service used to create short lip-sync, comedy, and talent videos.

The app was launched in 2017 for iOS and Android for markets outside of China, by ByteDance, a Beijing-based company founded in 2012 by Zhang Yiming.

It had previously launched Douyin for the China market in September 2016.

TikTok and Douyin are similar, but run on separate servers to comply with Chinese censorship restrictions.

The application allows users to create short music and lip-sync videos of 3 to 15 seconds and short looping videos of 3 to 60 seconds.

TikTok was the most downloaded app in the US in October 2018, the first Chinese app to achieve this.

As of 2018, it is available in over 150 markets and in 75 languages.

In February 2019, TikTok hit one billion downloads globally, excluding Android installs in China.

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