ByteDance launches Volcano Engine brand to offer its ‘secret’ to corporates

TikTok owner ByteDance launched the Volcano Engine brand on Thursday to offer its personalised recommendation algorithm to more corporate clients, as the Chinese company seeks to expand beyond its mainstay consumer apps.

ByteDance‘s recommendation system is considered the “secret sauce” in its success with apps including TikTok, TikTok’s Chinese version Douyin, and news aggregator Toutiao.

It was also one of the focal points when ByteDance was forced into talks to sell part of TikTok’s U.S operations last year following former President Donald Trump’s executive order.

China at the time revised its export restrictions so it would have a say over the potential transfer of TikTok’s recommendation algorithm to foreign buyers.

U.S. President Joe Biden on Wednesday revoked the Trump order and ordered a new review of security concerns posed by Chinese apps.

ByteDance said in a statement that Volcano Engine would offer enterprise clients technologies such as a recommendation algorithm, data analysis and artificial intelligence.

It said Volcano Engine had already been operating for a year before Thursday’s official launch, and had corporate clients such as e-commerce giant JD.com, smartphone maker Vivo and automaker Geely.

It also plans to add public cloud computing services, an already immensely competitive sector dominated by big tech companies in China such as Alibaba, Tencent and Huawei, a source close to the matter said.

ByteDance declined to comment on the cloud services plan.

The bulk of ByteDance‘s revenue comes from consumer-facing products such as Douyin and Toutiao. With growth prospects for these businesses likely to weaken as they mature, ByteDance has been seeking to make inroads in new areas such as enterprise services.

The company also operates work-collaboration tool Lark and its Chinese version Feishu.

Reuters

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.