ByteDance is a Chinese Internet technology company operating several machine learning-enabled content platforms such as TikTok, Toutiao, Xigua Video, and more. The company was valued at $78 billion as of November 2018 and is considered one of the most valuable unicorns in the world. In March, 2012 - ByteDance is Founded Founded by Zhang Yiming, ByteDance was founded in Beijing. In August, 2012 - Toutiao Launched ByteDance launched its flagship product, Chinese language news aggregation application Jinri Toutiao, commonly known as Toutiao. Literally meaning "Daily Headline", the application personalizes news and entertainment content based on user consumption habits to provide the right content at the right time. The app generates massive advertising revenue. In August, 2015 - TopBuzz Launched TopBuzz is extremely similar to Toutiao in terms of its AI driven recommendation engine, however TopBuzz is in English and built for international markets. TopBuzz aggregates content based on user preferences. In September, 2016 - Douyin Launched Douyin, China's most popular short video editing and sharing application, is launched. This is the Chinese precursor to TikTok, which is the international version of the app. Douyin has over 300 million active users within China. In October, 2016 - Invested in Dailyhunt Dailyhunt, India’s leading app for news and other content, received a $25 million investment from ByteDance. At the time of investment, Dailyhunt had roughly 28 million MAUs. In December, 2016 - Became controlling stakeholder in BABE BABE is an Indonesian news aggregation platform that uses AI algorithms to recommend users preferred content. In February, 2017 - Acquired Flipagram Bytedance acquired Flipagram, an application for people to upload short storytelling videos. It is available in 37 languages, and it boasts users in over 15 countries worldwide. The acquisition grants ByteDance Flipagram’s music copyright resources, user resources, a large amount of User Generated Content（UGC), as well as its product brand and operations team. In August, 2017 - TikTok Launched The international version of Douyin, TikTok was launched for the international market. TikTok has been wildly succesful and now has over 500 million MAUs, the main age range of which is between 16-24. In November, 2017 - News Republic ByteDance acquired news application News Republic from Cheetah Mobile for $86.6 million in an attempt to replicate their news aggregation success in the international market. In November, 2017 - Acquired musical.ly ByteDance acquired music-centric short video and lip-sncing application musical.ly in a deal worth nearly $1 billion. Founder Zhang Yiming commented, "By integrating Musical.ly’s global reach with Bytedance’s massive user base in China and key Asian markets, we are creating a significant global platform for our content creators and brands to engage with new markets.” In August, 2018 - Musical.ly integrated with TikTok ByteDance chose to integrate musical.ly into TikTok to create new, upgraded and more powerful version of TikTok, complete with the music-centric services of musical.ly. In January, 2019 - Duoshan Launched In January of 2019 ByteDance launched Duoshan, a video based social messaging application very similar to Snapchat.
Yiming Zhang is the founder and CEO of ByteDance. A lifelong entrepreneur, prior to ByteDance Yiming founded several ventures including a real estate search portal. Previously, he served as the Director of Technology at Kuxun, then the dominant travel and transportation search engine in China, where he led a team of more than 40 engineers. Kuxun was later acquired by TripAdvisor. Yiming has received numerous industry accolades, including being named to Forbes China’s "30 Under 30" list, as well as Fortune China’s lists of "40 Business Elites Under The Age Of 40" and "50 Business Pioneers In China".Yiming holds a bachelor’s degree in Software Engineering from Nankai University.