Coronavirus pandemic-led lockdown left people with no option other than staying at home. This led to people searching for more entertainment online. As a result, the monthly active users recorded by ByteDance at the end of the year 2020 were 1.9 billion across its apps. According to ByteDance, owner of short video sharing app TikTok, the revenue of the company increased 111 percent in 2020. Apps that are part of the company’s profile include extremely popular TikTok, the Chinese version Douyin and also Toutiao. Toutiao is essentially a news aggregation app. The company saw its revenue for last year more than double to 34.3 billion. The information was shared with employees by a senior management member during a company-wide meeting. According to people who were part of the meeting, the gross profit rose 93 percent to USD 19 billion. TikTok’s Chinese sister Douyin was the one that contributed the maximum in the growth. According to reports, Douyin became a popular destination during the lockdown for those who are looking to buy to production from live streaming presenters. ByteDance is giving tough competition to social media giant Facebook which is the world’s biggest social media group. Active monthly users of Facebook at the end of March 31 were 2.85 billion.
The operating loss recorded by ByteDance in 2020 was 2.1 billion. The company had a net loss of USD 45 billion and it was mainly due to the cost of share-based compensation and fair-value changes of certain shares. This is when it had USD 684 million operating profit the year before. The company’s main rival in China is Kuaishou and it reported a net loss of around USD 15.4 billion and 481 million monthly users in the same period. Kuaishou has a market capitalization of USD 103 billion and is trading in Hong Kong. On the other hand, ByteDance is yet to say something about its plans to go public. At the end of the year, the company had around 110,000 employees. The huge popularity of TikTok has helped the Chinese internet company to become successful. The app is popular for dancing and lip-syncing and many parts of the world. The company generates revenue mainly through advertisements on its platforms. However, ByteDance has started to foray into new areas like gaming. The short video-sharing app has pitted itself against big tech companies like Tencent.
ByteDance is apparently the most valuable start-up in the world. It raised about USD 15 billion in December at a USD 180 billion valuations. Meanwhile, the company has witnessed a major change at the top leadership level. ByteDance Co-Founder Zhang Yiming to step down from the post of the top executive. His little-known co-founder Liang Rubo is the new chief executive officer. Earlier to this, Rubo was head of human resources. People said that even after several weeks in the post, Rubo has not made any big changes and is likely to take direction from Zhang. It must be noted that Zhang stepped down from the post at a time when the company was having tough in the United States. The Trump administration had dubbed the company a threat to national security. ByteDance was even under pressure to divest its TikTok business in America. This is when Zhang handed over the post to Rubo, considered to be his loyal right-hand man.