ByteDance denies rumors about exaggerated advertising revenue
Beijing-based ByteDance, the owner of popular short video app TikTok, has denied claims on Chinese social media that its advertising revenue of CNY280 billion last year surpassed the combined revenue of the country’s television channels.
The statement quashed rumor originally posed by online account “Daily Innovation Observation, which claimed that ByteDance’s advertising revenue last year accounted for 77 percent of the country’s income, and was more than all of the country’s television channels combined.
In fact, ByteDance has no obligation to disclose financial information to the public as it still remains a private company.
Citing a source closed to the matter, Reuters reported that ByteDance’s annual revenue grew 70 per cent last year, down from an increase of 111 per cent in 2020.
Previously, ByteDance was reportedly to raise roughly USD400 billion in the private market, sparking speculation that it could soon go public. However, ByteDance immediately responded the reports by saying it was not ready to go public because it has no imminent IPO plans.
In January, Chinese authorities has required tech companies that handle the data of more than 1 million users to go through a cybersecurity review if they seek to list overseas, setting hurdles to big private data operator like ByteDance.
On Tuesday, Beijing introduced a new set of rules to regulate the use of profit-making practices in live streaming, aiming at addressing the sector’s chaos and promoting the healthy development of the industry.
Under the new rules, companies will need to report to provincial tax and cyber authorities the basic information including personal ID and income type of live streamers who make a profit on their platforms.
The new rules could affect the profitability of short video operators like ByteDance and Kuaishou.
Previously, Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) drafted rules to regulate the country’s booming livestreaming industry, strengthening scrutiny of live-streaming platform belonging to tech giant such as ByteDance, Alibaba Group, Kuaishou.
According to Sheng Ronghua, the deputy head of the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC), the regulator would probe into third-party platforms that help influencers gain unreal traffic on short video apps through questionable methods.
Last year, China’s internet regulator cleaned up issues in short videos and live streaming service by shutting down 1.34 billion online accounts, blocking 7,200 influencers account and removing 2,160 apps.
In a statement, CAC said many livestreamers have used exaggerated or even false advertisement to boost product sales as they endorse third party products and service for a fee.