$1 Billion To Chinese Media Giant Bytedance

Lena Tucker
November 12, 2017

Founded three years ago, this social media app is popular with young people and generates over 60 million monthly active users, reaching to other countries such as the USA and Europe as well.

Bytedance has become one of China's hottest tech start ups valuing at about $20 billion. Bytedance strike out competitors (rival bidders) involving Kuaishou, the viral video streaming service, the folks said, questioning not to be acknowledged conferring a confidential matter.

Musical.ly, founded three years ago in Shanghai, is the first Chinese social media app to make it big in the US, where it has about 20 million users. It also has a sister app, Live.ly, for live-streaming video.

The deal was announced yesterday by Bytedance without disclosing the price tag. The startup also inked deals with media companies such as Viacom and Comcast's NBCUniversal to make original shows. In June, a short version of MTV'sNick Cannon's Wild 'N Out, a how-to show called Fashion to DIY For, a series called Greatest Party Story Ever and Hearst's Seventeen and the City all debuted on the app.

Jinri Toutiao - or "Today's Headlines" - is one of the few Chinese internet operations to have found success without the backing of one of the country's three biggest industry players: Tencent Holdings Ltd, Baidu Inc and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. The app's cofounders, Alex Zhu and Louis Yang, will join Bytedance and will continue running Musical.ly as an independent platform. Now all three are refining their own news apps to try and steal business from Toutiao.

The company's overseas efforts are now spearheaded by TopBuzz, an app similar to its core offering in China, and Flipagram, a video platform acquired in February this year. It's also worth noting is that Cheetah Mobile was an early investor in Musical.ly, in which Cheetah held a 17.4% stake of the end of 2016.

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