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

While ByteDance is best known for its viral social media app TikTok, the Beijing-based company is now ramping up its capability in semiconductor design. ByteDance will not manufacture the chips to sell to others, but it will design the semiconductors it needs internally for specific applications.

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TikTok owner ByteDance is looking to design its own chips, joining a group of Chinese Internet giants focused on semiconductors as Beijing tries to become more self-reliant in the critical technology.

A spokesperson told CNBC that ByteDance, the parent company behind TikTok and recent gaming successes, is exploring chip-designs for its own use in particular regions because it hasn’t been able to find suppliers that meet its needs. can complete.

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

ByteDance will not manufacture the chips for sale to other companies. The social media giant has several job opportunities on its website for roles related to semiconductor design.

The Beijing-headquartered firm’s emphasis in semiconductor design plays into two major themes – the companies’ increasing focus on making chips for specific purposes, as well as the Chinese government’s strong emphasis on this fundamental technology.