Attention Factory: The Story of TikTok and China’s ByteDance

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In 2012, TikTok’s parent company ByteDance was just a handful of geeks working out of a scrappy four-bedroom apartment in Beijing. Today, it is the world’s fastest-growing tech behemoth worth in excess of $100 billion, unrecognizable from its humble beginnings.

Thousands of articles have been written about TikTok and its Chinese parent company ByteDance, but no one has told the complete story. Until now. Brennan’s book documents for the first time the ascendancy and missteps of a company that has forever changed the way we think about China and Chinese technology.

A creative blend of storytelling and analysis, interwoven with captivating anecdotes of TikTok, rare photos of ByteDance’s original team, incisive analysis and telling infographics, “Attention Factory” is an essential read for those looking to understand how ideas in the American and Chinese internet worlds collided, coincided and converged throughout the past decade.

  • Why was ByteDance, a Chinese company, the one to build TikTok?
  • Exactly who is Zhang Yiming, the company’s mysterious founder?
  • Which little known growth hacks did ByteDance use in their rise to the top?
  • Does TikTok herald a new era of Chinese companies challenging Silicon Valley?
  • How does the legendary TikTok algorithm work?

Discover how recommendation engines, content operations, and good old China-style growth hacking hold the key to this company’s success.

Brennan draws upon interviews with current and former employees and competitors, together with extensive research in both Chinese and English. The book’s sources number in the multiple hundreds, forging a sweeping narrative packed with original insight and analysis that simply cannot be found elsewhere.

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