Nepal | July 05, 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:

World Bank elevates Nepal to ‘lower middle income economy’

Country saw its GNI per capita rise to $1,090 in 2019, but economists says it doesn’t mean much in terms of development KATHMANDU, JULY 3 Nepal is now officially a lower-middle income country, an upgrade from its previous status as low income nation, according to the World Bank’s latest coun Read More...

Kailali's Bhajani Municipality, Joshipur Rural Municipality inundated

KAILALI, JULY 3 Bhajani and Joshipur of Kailali have been inundated after floodwaters gushed into the settlements. According to eyewitnesses, many houses in Wards 2, 3, 6 and 8 of Bhajani Municipality have been inundated. Local Ganga Chaudhary said floodwaters from local Kandra and Kadha ri Read More...

Ministry develops guidelines for rehab centres

KATHMANDU, JULY 3 The Ministry of Women, Children and Senior Citizens has developed guidelines for operation of rehabilitation centres to ensure that vulnerable persons at the centres do not contract COVID-19. MoWCSC said the new guidelines would be effective until Nepal was declared coronavir Read More...

Nepali Congress Ram Chandra Paudel

Country pushed into crisis: Paudel

DAMAULI, JULY 3 Senior Nepali Congress leader Ramchandra Paudel said sudden prorogation of the Parliament was unfortunate for the nation. “At a time when the nation is fighting a deadly disease, the decision to prorogue the Parliament has pushed the country further into the crisis,” said t Read More...

Holding centre in Khotang

KHOTANG, JULY 3 A 10-bed holding centre has been established in Diktel, the district headquarters of Khotang, for returnees. According to Chief District Officer and District COVID-19 Crisis Management Centre coordinator Shaligram Sharma Poudel, Nepali Army personnel and Red Cross staff jointly Read More...

Visit Nepal 2020 mascot, yeti

Former Visit Nepal secretariat seeks more budget from Tourism Ministry

KATHMANDU, JULY 3 Even after the government has scrapped the secretariat of the Visit Nepal 2020 campaign, the secretariat has submitted more unpaid bills to the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation (MoCTCA). Addressing a press meet today to unveil the ministry’s work progress dur Read More...

ADB country chief Kenichi Yokohama inspects Gautam Buddha International Airport in Lumbini

Tourism infrastructure development continues

KATHMANDU, JULY 3 Although the country is in a lockdown, infrastructure development activities under the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation (MoCTCA) have continued. Organising a press meet today, Tourism Minister Yogesh Bhattarai unveiled the progress report of infrastructure deve Read More...

917 Nepalis rescued

KATHMANDU, JULY 3 The government which has been rescuing stranded Nepalis abroad repatriated 917 Nepali citizens and two dead bodies today through six different chartered flights. As per the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) office based at Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA), Nepal A Read More...