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ByteDance, owner of TikTok, sees revenues double in 2020


The TikTok logo is pictured in front of the company’s U.S. headquarters in Culver City, California.

ByteDance, the Chinese company behind the successful TikTok video app, saw revenue double last year.

An internal memo released to staff showed the company’s total revenue jumped 111% to $ 34.3 billion (£ 25.6 billion) for 2020.

The numbers underscore the continued global popularity of TikTok.

It comes as ByteDance and several other Chinese tech giants come under increasing pressure from governments around the world.

ByteDance also saw its annual gross profit rise 93% to $ 19 billion, while it recorded a net loss of $ 45 billion for the same period.

The net loss was attributed to a one-time accounting adjustment unrelated to the operations of the company.

The memo also showed that ByteDance had around 1.9 billion monthly active users across all of its platforms as of December last year.

A spokesperson for ByteDance confirmed the figures to the BBC.

Pressure from the White House

TikTok’s massive popularity means ByteDance has come under scrutiny from governments around the world, including the United States and China.

On Thursday, Reuters reported that an executive order signed by President Joe Biden earlier this month would force some Chinese apps to take tougher measures to protect user data if they wanted to stay in the U.S. market.

This came after President Biden revoked an executive order from his predecessor Donald Trump that banned Chinese TikTok and WeChat apps in the United States.

The ban faced a series of legal challenges and never went into effect.

Instead, the US Department of Commerce said it would review apps designed and developed by those “under the jurisdiction of a foreign adversary,” such as China.

He should use an “evidence-based approach” to see if they pose a risk to US national security, President Biden said.

During the previous administration, President Trump regularly attacked ByteDance, accusing TikTok of being a threat to US national security.

Politicians and officials have raised concerns about the transmission of users’ personal data to the Chinese government.

TikTok has denied accusations it shared user data with Beijing.

Beijing Exam

In April, Chinese regulators called on 13 online platforms, including ByteDance, to comply with stricter regulations in their financial divisions.

It came as part of a larger campaign to harness the country’s tech giants.

The authorities said the aim was to prevent monopolistic behavior and “the disorderly expansion of capital”.

For many years, Beijing had taken a hands-off approach to encouraging the tech industry to expand.

Company reshuffle

In May, ByteDance announced that the company’s CEO and co-founder, Zhang Yiming, would step down and move to a new role by the end of the year.

In a letter to employees, Mr. Zhang said he would be replaced by his co-founder Rubo Liang.

“The truth is, I lack some of the skills that make an ideal manager. I’m more interested in analyzing organizational and market principles, and using those theories to further reduce managerial work, rather than by the actual management of people, “Zhang wrote in a post on the company’s website.

“Likewise, I’m not very social, preferring solitary activities like being online, reading, listening to music and considering what’s possible,” he added.

The move marked the biggest upheaval for the Chinese tech giant since its launch almost ten years ago.



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