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China's ByteDance plans to develop its own smartphone

TikTok owner hopes pre-loaded apps will spur sales, but analysts are skeptical

ByteDance, owner of the popular TikTok streaming app, is one of the few Chinese tech companies to boast a large user base outside its home market. (Photo by Takaki Kashiwabara)

BEIJING/HONG KONG (Financial Times) -- China's ByteDance, owner of the popular TikTok streaming app, is taking a step into hardware to develop its own smartphone, according to two people familiar with the project.

ByteDance, whose $75 billion valuation ranks it as one of the world's biggest startups, plans to launch a phone pre-loaded with its own apps -- which include news feeds, short video platforms and games -- in a bid to further spread its reach.

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