TikTok owner ByteDance explores self-designed chips as China aims for semiconductor self-sufficiency

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While ByteDance is best known for its viral social media app TikTok, the Beijing-based company is now bolstering its ability in semiconductor design. ByteDance won’t be manufacturing chips to sell to others, but it will be designing semiconductors that it requires for specific applications internally.

Artur Widak | Nurphoto | Getty Images

TikTok owner ByteDance is looking into designing its own chips, joining a slew of Chinese internet giants focused on semiconductors as Beijing tries to become more self-sufficient in the critical technology.

ByteDance, the parent company behind TikTok and more recent gaming successes, is exploring chips-design for its own use in specialized fields because it hasn’t been able to find suppliers that can meet its requirements, a spokesperson told CNBC.

The chips will be customized to deal with workloads related to ByteDance’s multiple business areas including video platforms, information and entertainment apps, the spokesperson added.

ByteDance won’t be manufacturing chips for sale to other companies. The social media giant has multiple job openings on its website for roles related to semiconductor design.

The Beijing-headquartered firm’s push into semiconductor design plays into two major themes — an increasing focus from companies to create chips for specific purposes, as well as the Chinese government’s push to become stronger in this fundamental technology.



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