Bytedance Plans to Shrug off Baidu from 'BAT'
COVID-19 and China
Checkmate! Image Credit: Steve Buissinne/Pixabay

According to information released by online company enquiry website qichacha (企查查) ByteDance (字节跳动) has become the largest share holder of Baike (互动百科) after buying 22% of stakes in the company. By investing in another service, ByteDance is marching straight into Baidu’s territory of providing internet search services.

Data from China’s national credit information publicity system showed that the registered capital of Baike jumped from CNY 30.5 million (4.3 million) to CNY 39.2 million (5.6 million) on July 5 thanks to ByteDance’s investment.

Baike, which was set up in 2005 in Beijing, is a major competitor of Baidu’s online encyclopedia service Baidu Baike. The two online reference platforms have long been competitors.

Since after officially announcing the launch of its search engine, ByteDance has blown the battle horn in the field of internet search against Baidu in China.

Shocked by the sudden competitor, Baidu is also actively looking for ways to to mitigate the market share loss by ByteDances entrance into the field.

Pandaily reported that on August 14, Baidu’s DAU exceeded 200 million, which means the platform is one of the most used search engines in China still. Benefiting from advertising itself in the Spring Festival Gala this year, Baidu saw a rise in DAU throughout the past six months by up to 40 million.

As China's internet shifts from desktop to mobile, ByteDance is increasingly chipping away at advertising sales from Baidu, drawing users to its news aggregation apps and short video platforms.

“Facing severe outside challenges and a weak macro environment, the company has initiated a series of groundbreaking changes from top to bottom, involving company structures, personnel moves and business consolidation,” Baidu Chief Executive Officer Robin Li said in a letter to employees after the results.

He further added “Despite periodic pain, these changes will have positive and profound impact, enabling Baidu to walk farther and steadier.”

On the other hand Sensor Tower, an app analytics platform, reported that in July 2019 revenues from ByteDance's Douyin and its overseas version TikTok hit new highs. Revenues from in-app purchases reached USD 11.7 million in July, up 290% year on year.

In the same month, Chinese iOS users spent nearly USD 8.2 million to buy Douyin coins, accounting for 70% of Douyin and TikToks global App Store and Google Play revenues. U.S. users spent about USD 2.3 million on the app in July, accounting for 20% of global revenues and up 42% from USD 1.7 million a year earlier. 

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