TikTok’s parent company ByteDance boasts nearly 2 billion users

By: Wajeeh Khan
Wajeeh Khan
Wajeeh is an active follower of world affairs, technology, an avid reader, and loves to play table tennis in… read more.
on Jun 17, 2021
  • ByteDance's revenue climbed by 111% in 2020 to $34.3 billion.
  • The parent organisation of TikTok saw a 93% growth in profit.
  • Its number of monthly active users (MAUs) climbed to 1.9 billion.

ByteDance disclosed its full-year financial results in a company-wide meeting on Thursday. According to a staff member who attended the meeting, the parent company of TikTok reported $34.3 billion of revenue in 2020 that represents a 111% annualised growth. At $19 billion, its gross profit surged 93%.

ByteDance said that the number of monthly active users (MAUs) climbed to 1.9 billion in 2020. The figure accounts for MAUs on all of its platforms, including TikTok, Douyin, and Toutiao.  The Chinese multinational’s valuation is currently pegged at more than $100 billion.

ByteDance hired a Xiaomi executive as its finance chief

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Earlier this year, ByteDance named Shou Zi Chew as its new finance chief – a management change that many construed as a hint that the Beijing-based company is considering an initial public offering (IPO). Chew had previously served as an executive at Xiaomi.

The source that preferred anonymity further highlighted that ByteDance saw $2.1 billion of operating loss in 2020 versus the year-ago figure of $684 million in operating profit. The loss was primarily attributed to the cost associated with share-based compensation for shareholders.

ByteDance has expanded its footprint in the international markets, thanks to its video-sharing and social networking service, TikTok. Advertising remains the primary source of revenue for the internet company. However, it is already exploring the potential in other areas, including gaming, and intends to establish itself as a major competitor for giants like Tencent.

Former U.S. President tagged ByteDance as a national security threat

But with widespread popularity came unprecedented challenges for ByteDance as well. At one point, the former U.S. President Donald Trump tagged the company a natural security threat and ordered it to sell its TikTok business in the United States to avoid blacklisting. Following Biden’s takeover, however, the Wall Street Journal said that an agreement to divest TikTok in the U.S. had been shelved indefinitely.

The Cyberspace Administration of China accused 104 applications this year of illegal collection of personal data. One of these apps were ByteDance’s Chinese version of TikTok, “Douyin”. The regulator also ordered these apps to make amends.

ByteDance is scheduled for a notable management change later this year. Co-founder Zhang Yiming will exit the role as the company’s chief executive officer before the start of 2022. The current head of human resources who also co-founded the company, Liang Rubo, will become the new CEO.

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