Wednesday 15 April 2020 12:33 pm

Tiktok owner Bytedance to hire 10,000 new staff amid lockdown boom

The Chinese company behind hit social media platform Tiktok is looking to hire 10,000 new employees as it defies a wider downturn that has forced global tech firms to lay off staff.

Bytedance has opened applications for the vacancies, with roughly a third of the roles in high-level research or software coding, according to an internal website for candidate referrals seen by Bloomberg.

Read more: Tiger Global builds stake in Tiktok owner Bytedance

The recruitment drive would see the Beijing-based company hit 40,000 new jobs this year — bringing it in line with headcount at fellow Chinese tech giant Alibaba.

It comes as Tiktok enjoys a surge in demand since the outbreak of coronavirus as its 1.5bn monthly users are forced to stay at home due to social distancing measures.

Tiktok racked up close to 113m downloads in February, marking the app’s best ever month for both installs and revenue, according to third-party data from Sensor Tower.

Bytedance, which was valued at $78bn (£62bn) in its latest funding round, also owns a string of other apps in China, ranging from its ecommerce platform to video-sharing app Douyin.

The tech giant is also gearing up to launch a new music streaming platform to rival Spotify.

Global chief executive Zhang Yiming last month announced plans to reach 100,000 employees by the end of 2020, nearly doubling its current workforce of 60,000 across 30 countries.

Bytedance counts Softbank and Sequoia Capital among its major investors, while New York-based Tiger Global Management has reportedly built a stake in the firm.

Read more: Tiktok launches family mode in latest bid to improve user safety

But the company has faced scrutiny from global regulators amid concerns over harmful material on Tiktok, its use of data and its alleged links to Beijing.

The US has also launched a national security review of Bytedance’s $1bn takeover of American social media app, which paved the way for the international rollout of Tiktok.

Bytedance has been contacted for comment.