TikTok owner ByteDance consolidates education products under new Dali brand

31-Oct-2020 Intellasia | South China Morning Post | 7:28 AM Print This Post

ByteDance, owner of popular short video-sharing app TikTok, has consolidated its education business under the new Dali brand, as the Chinese tech unicorn moves to further diversify its operations.

Dali, which translates to “great strength” in Chinese, “will take over all of ByteDance’s education products”, said Chen Lin, the new business unit’s chief executive, at a press conference in Beijing on Thursday.

Chen, formerly chief executive of the company’s Jinri Toutiao news platform, said the creation of a stand-alone education business would better differentiate those products from other apps in ByteDance’s portfolio.

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ByteDance with a valuation of $140 billion, according to CB Insights has rolled out at least nine education products since 2018, including English-learning platforms for adults to multi-subject courses for children from grades one to 12.

The launch of Dali a name that comes from a popular meme on China’s social media several years ago may put a fresh spin on ByteDance’s education efforts, which have experienced setbacks.

Gogokid, one of the company’s most popular English-tutoring platforms, laid off employees in April last year, according to a report by local magazine China Entrepreneur.

Chen said on Thursday that ByteDance has not given up on Gogokid, denying previous speculation that the platform would close.

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The stakes are high for Dali, as China’s online education market saw demand grow amid the Covid-19 pandemic, which prompted a shift to e-learning.

In March, ByteDance founder Zhang Yiming singled out education as a strategic new business direction for the company, which has also diversified into video games.

China’s online education market is projected to be worth 453.8 billion yuan (US$67.5 billion) this year, according to a report by iiMedia Research.

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As part of its Dali launch on Thursday, ByteDance unveiled a smart lamp as its hardware product for the education sector. The device, which costs 799 yuan (US$119), was designed to enable parents to make video calls via the lamp, as their children did their school assignments at home.

Louis Yang, the head of Dali’s smart lamp product team, said the device was the kind of product he had been looking for in the market to help with his daughter’s studies. Yang said the smart lamp would “protect her eyes and help me guide her to do her homework”.



Category: China

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