Nepal | July 14, 2020

TikTok owner ByteDance shuts down overseas news aggregator TopBuzz

Reuters
Share Now:

BEIJING/SHANGHAI: ByteDance, owner of the global hit short-video app TikTok, has shut down its artificial-intelligence-based news aggregator TopBuzz, one of the company’s earliest products aimed at the global stage.

“We’re proud of the work that we accomplished with TopBuzz, but (we) have determined that other areas of the business should be our priority going forward,” ByteDance said in a statement sent to Reuters on Friday.

The closure of TopBuzz underlines how ByteDance’s moves into international markets have not been entirely smooth in spite of TikTok’s success.

Launched in 2015, TopBuzz was the overseas equivalent of Chinese news aggregator Jinri Toutiao, meaning “Today’s Headlines”, which was one of Beijing-based ByteDance’s first successes. The app recommends personalized news articles to users with different interests based on its AI-driven algorithms.

However, TopBuzz was not as popular as the later TikTok app.

TopBuzz’s downloads declined to 1.2 million in the first half of 2019 from 7 million in all of 2018 on the App Store and Google Play combined, according to researcher Sensor Tower. TikTok had 345.2 million downloads in the first half of 2019.

TopBuzz began shrinking its operations last year, according to two sources familiar with the matter. The app used to have operations in multiple languages including Spanish and Portuguese, one of the sources said. But now its website only shows English and Japanese versions.

ByteDance is currently under a US national security inquiry into TikTok’s handling of user data, and also facing tightened scrutiny from regulators around the world.

TopBuzz’s tepid performance has not stopped Chinese entrepreneurs from starting global news apps.

News Break, founded by Yahoo alumnus Zheng Zhaohui in 2015 and backed by Chinese investors, was ranked as the No. 1 news and magazine app on Google Play in the U.S. by usage over the past 28 days, followed by Twitter and Reddit, according to app performance tracker SimilarWeb.


Follow The Himalayan Times on Twitter and Facebook

Recommended Stories:

More from The Himalayan Times:

Nepal COVID-19 Update: 144 new cases, 1,705 recoveries, no deaths recorded today

KATHMANDU: Nepal’s Health Ministry, in its regular press briefing, shared the latest updates on coronavirus contagion from across the country, and government’s response to the health crisis. As of today, 289,371 tests through Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) method have been carried out, Read More...

Sevilla practically seal top-four finish, Eibar stay up, Leganes still alive

MADRID: Sevilla closed in on Champions League qualification by beating struggling Real Mallorca 2-0 at home to open up a nine-point gap in the race for fourth spot in La Liga. Lucas Ocampos opened the scoring with a first-half penalty while Youssef En Nesyri sealed the victory late on, latching Read More...

Nepal's PM KP Sharma Oli 'claims' real Ayodhya is in Nepal

KATHMANDU: At a time when diplomatic relations between Nepal and India are at a sensitive juncture over border issues, Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli has thrown a controversial statement that could further elevate tensions in the bordering countries. Speaking at an event organised to commemorate po Read More...

Former players hail 'incredible' Windies win on resumption

SOUTHAMPTON: Former England captain Michael Vaughan hailed West Indies' "incredible" victory over England in the series opener and said their performance had been all the more remarkable given cricket was just returning from the COVID-19 shutdown. West Indies, No. 8 in the test rankings, arrive Read More...

Case of HIV patient in remission offers hope to millions living with virus

LONDON: When Ash Kotak found out he was HIV-positive in 1993, the diagnosis was still a death sentence. "I was told to go off and have a good life on the assumption I would be dead in a few years," the 54-year-old playwright, writer and HIV/AIDS activist told the Thomson Reuters Foundation on T Read More...

Manchester United, Marcus Rashford, Premier League

United stay fifth after Saints grab last-gasp leveller

MANCHESTER: Manchester United's Champions League qualification hopes suffered a blow after an equaliser deep in stoppage time from Michael Obafemi earned Southampton a 2-2 draw in the Premier League at Old Trafford on Monday. United, unbeaten in 18 games in all competitions, were poised to m Read More...

Capital budget spending at two-decade low of 40 per cent

KATHMANDU, JULY 13 With just two days remaining for the 2019-20 fiscal year to end, capital budget expenditure throughout the year stands at one of the worst ever at 39.62 per cent. Officials at the Ministry of Finance said capital expenditure during the current fiscal year, which was primaril Read More...

Mayur company resumes bus service in Kathmandu

Kathmandu, July 13 Mayur Yatayat Company resumed its bus services from today in Kathmandu valley amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The decision of Mayur Yatayat has come as a relief to commuters at a time when other public transportation entrepreneurs were refusing to operate their services citing f Read More...