TikTok owner Bytedance confirms plans to develop a smartphone

TikTok owner Bytedance confirms plans to develop a smartphone

Tech behemoth Bytedance has confirmed reports that it is moving into the smartphone space.

A report from the Financial Times suggested that the TikTok owner was working on a smartphone, according to anonymous sources that were familiar with the project.

However, Bytedance has now confirmed that these plans are underway, following a partnership with Chinese smartphone manufacturer Smartisan. 

In a statement to Reuters, a spokeswoman for Bytedance confirmed that plans for the smartphone were made prior to the deal. 

“The product was a continuation of earlier Smartisan plans, aiming to satisfy the needs of the old Smartisan user base,” the spokeswoman said.

Global userbase

Bytedance is making waves globally following the success of social app TikTok. Previous reports suggested that the company's own smartphone line will come with the company's apps preinstalled. This includes TikTok, messaging app Flipchat, and a potential music streaming service. 

As of 2019, Bytedance is the most valuable startup in the world, valued at around $75 billion. 

Other companies like ByteDance have also tried their hand at entering the phone market; Amazon trialed a Fire Phone back in 2015 which flopped just over a year after launch. Facebook also planned to launch a phone back in 2014 but was also unsuccessful. ByteDance may have the opportunity to be the first to do this successfully.


Danielle Partis is editor of and former editor of She was named Journalist of the Year at the MCV Women in Games Awards 2019, as well as in the MCV 30 under 30 2020. Prior to Steel Media, she wrote about music and games at Team Rock.