Tech news from around the world in 3 minutes, starting now. (Music) ByteDance, the Chinese owner of short video platform TikTok, is working on designing its own chips as China moves toward semiconductor self-sufficiency, The Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday citing sources familiar with the matter. According to Reuters, ByteDance did not immediately respond to a message requesting a comment.
ByteDance the owner of TikTok is looking into designing
TikTok’s owner ByteDance is investigating whether it can design its own chips, joining a whole lot of Chinese internet companies interested in semiconductors who are out to become more self-sufficient in that vital technology as Beijing tries to change its electronics infrastructure. ByteDance, the company behind the likes of TikTok and more recent successes, is exploring hardware for itself to compensate for its not being able to find suppliers to meet its needs, according to a spokesperson who spoke to CNBC. The chips will have various components and optimizations designed to allow them to deal with different sorts of tasks which would include multiple aspects of ByteDance’s video platforms, information, and entertainment apps, the spokesperson added. ByteDance will not manufacture or sell chips to other companies. The social media giant has multiple job openings on its website for roles related to semiconductor design.
Beijing-based company jumps into semiconductor design and production
A company from Beijing has jumped into semiconductor design and production, benefiting from both the growth in general for purposes-driven chips and the Chinese government’s pursuit of domestically developed chip companies.
Over the past few years, companies from Baidu, a search giant, to Alibaba, an e-commerce company and cloud giant, have released their own chips, despite no traditional background in semiconductors. However, the solution is custom-designed chips in the shape of components they want in the shape they want, which is much different than one that off-the-shelf they would just buy from a different company.
China Has Invested Heavily in its Domestic Chip Industry
Chinese firms, however, still require contract chipmakers, usually foreign companies, to actually manufacture the parts for them. It is similar to what Apple does with its iPhones. In the meantime, semiconductors, which are put into many modern devices such as phones and cars, are seen as the major battleground between the U.S. and China amid a broader technological war. While China has invested heavily in the development of its domestic chip industry, it has been hard for the country to compete against America and other countries in Asia. Beijing has made it a priority to try to become self-sufficient in semiconductors but is still relying heavily on foreign technology. In recent years, China has invested in developing its own industry to make more sophisticated chips.