The Smartisan unit hoped to “bring a new experience upgrade to the smart TV ecosystem”, while showing consumers and the broader market “the team’s innovation in the smart TV field”, Zou said during the live-streamed product launch on Monday.
Konka, which also usesand webOS on its other TV models, has opened for pre-orders its MEyou OS-powered Aphea A6 Pro TVs in 65, 75, 86 and 98-inch screen sizes, which were introduced on Monday. These models are priced between 9,999 yuan (US$1,569) and 39,999 yuan, according to Zhu Zhongqing, Konka’s sales director in China, in a statement on Monday.
The ByteDance collaboration also comes at a time when Konka, once China’s largest TV maker from 2003 to 2007, continues to struggle in a highly competitive domestic TV market, where it has seen annual demand steadily decline.
Overall TV sales in China, the industry’s biggest market, last year plunged 13.8 per cent from 2020 to 38 million units, the lowest volume recorded in 12 years, according to Beijing-based research firm All View Cloud.
Shenzhen-listed Konka, which also manufactures and sells refrigerators and other home appliances, posted revenue of 7.3 billion yuan from its TV business, or less than half of that unit’s sales in 2014, according to the company’s 2021 annual report. TV sales accounted for just 15 per cent of Konka’s total revenue last year.
MEyou OS pits ByteDance against, which introduced its own operating system, , about 10 months ago for use in various devices including smartwatches, smart televisions, smart home appliances and other sensor-equipped gadgets that are connected to the internet and interact with mobile .
In July 2019, the company initially made a deal with highly indebted Android handset maker Smartisan, founded by entrepreneur, to develop new smartphones. by ByteDance, so that it can start another programme focused on education hardware and software products with former Smartisan chief technology officer Wu Dezhou.
Earlier in 2017, Smartisan provided a mobile operating system to a smartphone manufactured by Konka, but that handset never took off. Smartisan has not launched another smartphone model.
Privately-held ByteDance, which embarked on alast November, has continued to make calculated moves that ensure it does not stray from its business goals and Beijing’s tightened regulatory regime, while exploring potentially significant areas for expansion.
The company had a, according to the latest Hurun Global Unicorn Index published by Shanghai-based Hurun Research Institute in December. , up 70 per cent from a year earlier, according to a Reuters report. Its 2020 revenue, by contrast, grew 111 per cent to US$34.3 billion.