TikTok owner launches a new blockchain-based project with China’s media group

Written by: Ali Raza
March 11, 2020
  • ByteDance — TikTok's owner — recently entered a partnership with China's state-owned media group Shanghai Dongfang Newspaper.
  • The goal of the partnership is to create a new blockchain-based AI-dependant business model.
  • It is unknown how and why TikTok might benefit from blockchain, but China's interests in emerging technologies are quite well-known.

According to recent reports, the owner of a popular social media app, TikTok, is launching a new project in collaboration with a Chinese media group, Shanghai Dongfang Newspaper. The two have decided to launch a joint venture to create a new business model that will use AI in combination with blockchain technology.

The report published by Bloomberg indicates that the project was launched in Jinan, the capital of China’s Shandong province. It took off on December 10th, and it has a capital of around $1.43 million.

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It is also said that China’s media group owns 51% of the venture, while TikTok’s owner, known as ByteDance, owns the remaining 49%.

How can TikTok and China benefit from blockchain tech?

As many likely knows, TikTok is a very popular app that has over 500 million monthly users from all over the world. In fact, it is the second-largest app in terms of downloads in the US, according to data from the Apple App Store, right after Disney+.

The app uses short videos that users can create and upload, and the video feed is managed by the company’s AI. Depending on the users’ interests, the AI recommends similar videos if it believes that the user might enjoy them.

With that in mind, it is unclear how the app might benefit from the use of blockchain technology. Blockchain has various use cases, although no obvious reason why ByteDance would want to include it emerges. One possibility is that it would be used for data verification, although this remains unconfirmed.

On the other hand, China’s interest in a blockchain does not come as a surprise, as the country’s blockchain industry continues to mature at a rapid pace. The adoption of blockchain in China has been advancing extremely well in the last several months.

Recently, the country’s Bank of China supposedly issued 20 billion yuan ($2.8 billion) in special financial bonds based on blockchain technology. The funds were dedicated to micro-enterprises and small companies.

Not only that, but China also plans to launch its own central bank digital currency (CBDC) in two major cities quite soon.

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