ByteDance is in the early stages of planning to develop its own semiconductors, according to the company’s job postings.
Beijing-based ByteDance has posted a dozen semiconductor-related job advertisements on its official website, based mainly in Beijing and Shanghai.
The company’s focus is said to be on Arm-based server-side chips.
The company also told Chinese business magazine Caijing that it has established a team to explore the development of artificial intelligence chips.
Chinese technology giants are ramping up efforts to design their own chips to reduce dependence on foreign producers such as Qualcomm Inc and Nvidia Corp.
China is the world’s largest purchaser of semiconductors but its ability to produce chips is behind efforts made by the US, Japan and South Korea.
Research shows that of $143bn (£103bn, €119bn) in chips sold in China in 2020, only $22.7bn worth were produced in China, and only $8.3bn was produced by Chinese-headquartered companies.
It comes as Chinese search engine giant Baidu is said to have raised money for its artificial intelligence semiconductor business at a valuation of $2bn.
Baidu is considering making the unit a separate entity to commercialise its chip design capabilities and diversify its revenue streams.
Alibaba Group, China’s e-commerce giant, also unveiled an AI chip for its cloud computing products back in late 2019.