A billboard for the Chinese video app TikTok on Wangfujing Street on August 20, 2020, in Beijing.
VCG | Visual China Group | fake images
GUANGZHOU, China – ByteDance, the owner of TikTok, saw its 2020 revenue more than double, a person familiar with the matter told CNBC.
Last year’s revenue was $ 34.3 billion, an increase of 111% year-on-year, the company’s top management told employees at a company-wide meeting. Gross profit increased 93% to $ 19 billion, said the person who attended the meeting.
ByteDance had 1.9 billion monthly active users at the end of 2020 across all of its platforms, including its popular short video app TikTok, Chinese version Douyin, and news aggregation app Toutiao, among others.
The Wall Street Journal first reported the figures.
The rapid growth underscores the excitement around ByteDance, a private company, and why its valuation has reportedly been set above $ 100 billion.
The company also hired former Xiaomi executive Shou Zi Chew as its new CFO earlier this year, indicating that it may be preparing for an initial public offering.
ByteDance’s operating loss in 2020 was $ 2.1 billion versus an operating profit of $ 684 million the previous year, said the person, who wished to remain anonymous as he was not authorized to speak publicly. The loss was primarily due to the cost of share-based compensation to shareholders, the source said.
The Chinese internet company has achieved international success with TikTok, the popular short video application for dancing and lip syncing. Advertising is a key part of ByteDance’s revenue on its platforms, but it has started to venture into new areas like gaming and is taking on some of China’s other tech giants like Tencent.
However, it has been a difficult year for the company.
ByteDance was branded a national security threat by the administration of former President Donald Trump last August and ordered to divest its TikTok business in the U.S. The Wall Street Journal reported this year that a deal to sell TiKTok was filed indefinitely.
In China, ByteDance has been hit by a broader regulatory crackdown on the country’s tech sector. Douyin, the Chinese version of TiKTok, along with 104 other apps, were reported by the China Cyberspace Administration for illegal collection of personal data and asked to rectify the issues.
The company will also undergo a key management change this year. Zhang Yiming, co-founder of ByteDance, will step down as CEO at the end of the year and take a key role in the strategy. Another co-founder, Liang Rubo, who is currently the head of human resources, will take over as CEO.