Beijing-based ByteDance plans to develop semiconductors


As China-based product restrictions increase, its impact has been seen on the Chinese economy, and the effect has just worsened in the past couple of years from the United States trade spat and the COVID-19 pandemic. Now Chinese tech giants and other firms are taking it upon themselves to reduce reliance on imported products.

Amidst these efforts, TikTok owner ByteDance is now rumoured to start designing and manufacturing its chips. This effort from the tech giant aims to reduce the reliance of Chinese tech firms on foreign producers such as Qualcomm and Nvidia. ByteDance has posted several job postings regarding this, mostly for Shanghai and Beijing locations.

Huawei Technologies Co. saw its downfall and experienced immense difficulties in running its operations as the U.S imposed sanctions to prevent the Chinese telecom giant from sourcing its components. China is the world’s biggest semiconductor buyer, and this is due to its lagging capacity and ability to produce the chips in-house.

Of the $143 billion in chips sold in China in 2020, only $22.7 billion worth were produced in China, and just $8.3 billion was produced by Chinese-headquartered companies. These numbers depict how serious the problem of the Chinese chip import is.

Baidu, Alibaba, China’s AI unicorn SenseTime have all started working on various chip projects. With ByteDance added to this list, we are set to see a significant change in the semiconductor chip industry.