App factory ByteDance, the company behind TikTok and its Chinese version Douyin, generated RMB 140 billion (USD 20 billion) in revenue last year—an increase by 180% from 2018—with average daily revenue reaching RMB 400 million in November, Chinese media outlet Jiemian reported on Wednesday.
Earlier in 2019, the company had set the target of USD 14.8 billion in revenue for the year. Halfway through 2019, the company wasn’t on track to meeting this goal. In the first six months of 2019, ByteDance did better than expected and booked RMB 50–60 billion in revenue, Reuters reported in September last year, citing sources familiar with the situation.
ByteDance has seen its revenue soar in recent years—RMB 6 billion in 2016, RMB 16 billion in 2017, and then RMB 50 billion in 2018—thanks to the hyper-popularity of short video app TikTok, news aggregator Jinri Toutiao, video platform Xigua Video, as well as other offerings from the firm.
Regarding Jiemian’s report, ByteDance has said that “the news is not accurate.”
The company said it had 700 million daily active users (DAUs) across all platforms as of July. Earlier this week, Douyin said it had hit 400 million DAUs. Douyin reportedly booked annual revenue of over RMB 20 billion in 2018. TikTok, which has found appeal outside of China, pulled in USD 50 million via in-app purchases in the fourth quarter of 2019, up 310% year-on-year, per mobile app data provider Apptopia.
Advertising is ByteDance’s main money-maker. In 2018, the ads segment brought in RMB 40 billion, accounting for 80% of the company’s annual revenue. However, the Beijing-headquartered company, which was valued at around USD 75 million in 2018, has been pushing in-app live-streaming features and strengthening its presence in different fields, including edtech, gaming, search, and gadgets, in order to open new income streams.