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ByteDance Seeks New Investment Opportunities Amid Global TikTok Pushbacks

By Ding Yi / Jul 23, 2020 05:17 PM / Business & Tech

Photo: VCG

Photo: VCG

Fast-rising Chinese tech company ByteDance is seeking more investment opportunities as some foreign governments make life for its primary money-making app TikTok increasingly difficult due to data security concerns.

The Beijing-based company has given its vice president of product and strategy, Alex Zhu, the task of finding promising tech firms that ByteDance could buy into, CNBC reported Wednesday, citing a ByteDance spokesperson.

So far, ByteDance has invested in 21 companies and acquired seven firms, with the most recent acquisition taking place in May, when ByteDance purchased medical knowledge platform Baikemy.com in its foray into the field of online health content, according to corporate data provider Crunchbase.

In addition to making investments in external firms, ByteDance, which has grown from a humble news aggregation app to the world’s most valuable startup, is also exploring opportunities to start new businesses, among which education could be a key priority.

In a recent internal speech, ByteDance senior vice president Chen Lin announced plans to pour “a huge amount” of capital into its newly-established education business in the next three years regardless of possible losses and the nearly saturated market dominated by bigger rivals like VIPKid and Yuanfudao, according to a transcript published on the company’s public WeChat account Wednesday.

ByteDance is a late entrant to the sector, operating one-on-one English tutoring app GoGoKid and online course livestreaming app Qingbei.

Chen’s remarks come amid a boom in China’s online education sector that took off during the coronavirus-induced lockdowns when students were told to continue their studies through online learning platforms.

Contact reporter Ding Yi (yiding@caixin.com)

Related: TikTok Leaving ByteDance Is ‘Better Solution Than Banning’, White House Adviser Says


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