ByteDance is a Chinese Internet technology company operating several machine learning-enabled content platforms. Apple's CEO Tim Cook got a tour of the company and was treated like a rock star. Three layers back in the photo and you can see smiles from ear-to-ear as they look on to see Cook greeting their fellow team members.
Years back when Cook was in China, he visited startup ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxing. Apple later invested $1 Billion in the company. So why is Apple meeting with ByteDance? While Beijing ByteDance Technology Co is on iTunes Preview with a few iApps, I doubt that's the reason for the visit.
There's a buzz on Wall Street about ByteDance on Wall Street who think that's there an IPO in the wind.
They were listed on Fast Company's list of the top 100 innovative companies in 2018. Apple is listed as #1 while ByteDance is listed as #16
ByteDance pioneered the video-sharing mobile app Tik Tok. After it acquired music start-up musical.ly, the company combined the two platforms into a single application under the Tik Tok name. It also runs BuzzVideo and Vigo Video.
The founder of ByteDance saw the opportunity to combine the power of artificial intelligence with the growth of mobile internet to revolutionize the way people consume and receive information.
According to their website, "AI technology is at the heart of all of ByteDance's content platforms. We build intelligent machines that are capable of understanding and analyzing texts, images and videos using natural language processing and computer vision technology, then we use large-scale machine learning and deep learning algorithms to serve users with the content that they will find most interesting."
Their AI Lab is doing long-term research focused on machine learning, computer vision, natural language, computer graphics, knowledge and data mining and more. This is likely something of great interest to Apple considering their advancement of their Bionic Chip.
Apple and ByteDance Representatives refused to comment on the nature of the visit by Cook. The coverage of this story was first discovered over at Bloomberg.
Cook's visit to ByteDance was obviously a well preplanned and AI is certainly an area of great interest to Apple. Investing in Chinese companies is in Apple's interest, but whether there's more to the trip may take a little more time to surface. So stay tuned.
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