The owner of popular video sharing app TikTok, Chinese company ByteDance, intends to start developing its own smartphone, the Financial Times reports, citing sources.
"Chinese ByteDance will be engaged in hardware — the development of its own smartphone," according to the the Financial Times.
It is explained that ByteDance plans to release a phone with its own pre-installed applications, including news feeds, video platforms and games, in order to further expand its reach. The move is being made as Chinese technology companies are concerned about the effects of US export bans on Huawei and are trying to support themselves with their own equipment.
ByteDance is estimated to be worth $75 billion, which makes it one of the largest startups in the world. In March, the number of downloads of its TikTok app exceeded 1 billion. TikTok allows users to create short videos, live broadcasts and exchange messages.
Earlier, US President Donald Trump issued an executive order adding Huawei and 70 affiliates of its affiliates to a trade blacklist, thereby restricting its business activity in the US and with American companies.
Huawei has been accused by several countries of being sponsored by the Chinese state and spying on its behalf through its devices.