ByteDance is selling some of the AI technology powering its video app TikTok to websites and apps outside of China, as it expands its revenue streams before the IPO.
A new division called BytePlus launched in June and has customers all over the world, including the United States.
According to its website, early customers include US fashion app Goat, Singapore travel booking site WeGo and Indonesia’s online shopping startup Chilibeli.
BytePlus provides businesses with an opportunity to take advantage of the TikTok algorithm that keeps users scrolling through recommending videos they think they like.
They can use this technology to customize their apps and services for their customers. Other software on offer includes machine translation of text and speech, real-time video effects, and a suite of data analysis and management tools.
Its computer vision technology can detect and track 18 points around the body from head to toe as users dance or gesture in front of the camera. Which BytePlus suggests can be used for beauty or fashion applications.
The new unit has hired employees in Singapore, London and Hong Kong who previously worked for technology companies such as Microsoft.
Tianyi He, a longtime ByteDance employee, has been President of BytePlus in Singapore since June.
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BytePlus’s toolkit appears to rival AI services from the likes of Amazon, Google, and Microsoft. In addition to other Chinese groups such as Alibaba, Baidu and Tencent.
The international debut of the BytePlus unit follows the launch of a similar service in China called Volcano Engine, whose customers include Geely and Vivo.
The collaboration app called Lark, launched in 2019, is the first enterprise product of ByteDance. Its new trend comes at a time when the rapid growth of TikTok is threatened by reaching its limits.
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ByteDance is testing a range of new products to diversify away from TikTok. Including mobile games and video editing applications.
ByteDance has sought to register the trademarks associated with BytePlus and Volcano Engine in the United States.