Liang Rubo Warns: ByteDance at Risk of Mediocrity Without AI Focus!

  • Editor
  • February 1, 2024
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In a recent company-wide meeting held in Singapore and broadcast to employees around the globe, ByteDance CEO Liang Rubo delivered a candid warning about the potential dangers of complacency in the face of rapid technological change.

As the parent company of TikTok and a leading force in algorithm-driven platforms such as Douyin and Toutiao, ByteDance finds itself at a crucial juncture.

Liang Rubio criticized the company for its slow adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) technologies, which are increasingly becoming a cornerstone of innovation and competition in the tech industry.

According to a ByteDance post about the meeting on social media, “Our company is not sensitive enough (to new technologies),” Liang said. “For example, discussions about GPT did not appear in our half-year tech review until 2023, although GPT-1 was already released in 2018.”

During the meeting, Liang highlighted ByteDance’s operational inefficiencies and its delayed response to advancements in AI, notably its tardy discussion of generative pre-trained transformers (GPT) technologies in their half-year tech review.

This oversight, according to Liang, is emblematic of a larger issue within ByteDance’s approach to innovation and adaptation, risking the company’s descent into mediocrity.

“For many good startup teams, they are very familiar with the industry. They can quickly spot any new projects appearing on GitHub, and then they start seeking acquisition or partnership opportunities,” he said, referring to the online depository for computer codes.

The CEO underscored the importance of staying abreast of technological advancements to maintain a competitive edge. He pointed out that successful startups quickly identify and act on new projects appearing on platforms like GitHub, suggesting that ByteDance needs to adopt similar agility.

As part of its strategy to reclaim its innovative spirit, ByteDance has ramped up its focus on AI, pulling the plug on less strategic ventures such as video games and launching AI-powered chatbots like “Doubao” in China and “Cici” and “ChitChop” overseas.

People think that the AI effects have finally started showing up.

This strategic pivot comes amid scrutiny over ByteDance’s use of OpenAI’s technology to develop its own AI capabilities, a move that led OpenAI to suspend ByteDance’s account pending an investigation.

By addressing these challenges head-on, Liang Rubo’s message to ByteDance employees was clear: the company must cut through its internal bureaucracy and renew its commitment to AI and technological innovation to sustain its leadership in the global tech arena.

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Dave Andre


Digital marketing enthusiast by day, nature wanderer by dusk. Dave Andre blends two decades of AI and SaaS expertise into impactful strategies for SMEs. His weekends? Lost in books on tech trends and rejuvenating on scenic trails.

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