(Yicai Global) Jan. 23 -- China's ByteDance Technology, the owner of popular applications of TikTok and Jinri Toutiao, has bought some of the indebted smartphone maker Smartisan Technology's patents to expand from software to hardware. Some of Smartisan's employees have also joined the internet firm.
ByteDance bought some intellectual property rights from Smartisan to explore businesses in the education sector, the Beijing-based video titan told Yicai Global, revealing no more details due to confidentiality of the deal.
ByteDance is seeking to expand to hardware with the upcoming fifth-generation mobile networks, analysts said, adding that the firm purchased Smartisan's IP to get prepared for intelligent hardware derivatives.
All of Smartisan's hardware staff members and some software ones have signed labor contracts with ByteDance, a source close to the Chengdu-based handset maker told Yicai Global. ByteDance has confirmed to Chinese media that some of the phone firm's former employees have joined its team. Smartisan's former chief designer Xiao Peng also left for another Chinese phonemaker Oppo Electronics late last year.
Smartisan, known for its hammer silhouette-style insignia, met with its supplier Coolpad in court in November to discuss unpaid bills. Founder Luo Yonghao has tried to negotiate with Baidu, Huawei Technologies and Alibaba Group Holding about a takeover but has reportedly not reached any agreements.
Founded in 2012, ByteDance entered the education sector last year with its online primary and secondary education businesses such as Gogokid English training platform. The firm has acquired business-to-business operations from QianWenWanDaBa Cloud Computing Technology's Xueba platform and launched an app called Study Hard for paid educational content.
Editor: Emmi Laine