Bytedance is revamping Smartisan’s online store after purchasing the embattled smartphone maker’s education hardware patents and e-commerce operations earlier this year.
Why it matters: Spurred by the increasing use of content in e-commerce, Bytedance, the parent of content creation hubs Douyin and Toutiao, is boosting its e-commerce capabilities in an attempt to diversify revenue sources.
- Bytedance-backed Toutiao rolled out a factory-to-store e-commerce platform Zhidian last year, while a separate e-commerce project dubbed Xincao underway.
- Bytedance’s e-commerce program will likely remain in the experimental phase for the next few years.
- The company’s approach to e-commerce will put it in competition with incumbents like Alibaba and Pinduoduo, which are also trying to boost their growth through content.
“We don’t have plans to develop a new e-commerce app. The e-commerce product in question is the existing Smartisan official website, which has always been a platform selling Smartisan phones and accessories.”
– Bytedance spokesperson
Details: Chinese media Tech Xingqiu reported that Bytedance is working on a new incubation project that takes the model of NetEase’s private-label e-commerce platform NetEase Yanxuan.
- Smartisan’s online store now includes new product categories such as t-shirts, sneakers, backpacks, and even genetic testing kits.
- The site ran out of most products after Smartisan’s cash crunch last year.
Context: Bytedance is taking over some of Smartisan’s most valuable assets as the niche smartphone maker faces a series of crises.
- Bytedance acquired some of Smartisan’s tech-related patents to develop hardware for the education sector.
- Some employees of Smartisan were transferred to Bytedance as part of what the latter company called a “normal flow of talent.”
- Bytedance said earlier this year it was developing a smartphone through a partnership with Smartisan.