Chinese Media Startup Toutiao to Purchase Musical.ly for $800M-$1B

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The startup acquires a big American occurrence, tallying Musical.ly's 100 million - stout deputation of lip - syncing video performers to Toutiao's own 120 million readers and viewers, at the same time as potentially tacking on a social media constituent to its bread and butter news submission. Bytedance, a leading AI-powered content platform, is buying the video-based social network in a deal reportedly valued at $800 million. It also has a sister app, Live.ly, for live-streaming video. Musical.ly which was founded in Shanghai by Louis Yang and Alex Zhu in 2014, rapidly gained popularity among U.S. teens in 2016 and since then has expanded beyond its flagship app for creating and sharing personal music videos. The startup's struck deals with media firms including Viacom Inc and Comcast Corp's NBCUniversal to make original shows. Bloomberg has informed it also appears to make interactive content for a younger audience.

Bytedance is known for its flagship content-recommendation app "Toutiao"(which means "headline" in Chinese). 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.

If you live outside of Asia, you're about to get more familiar with the five-year-old internet news and video aggregator.

The company is run by Shanghai-based co-founders Alex Zhu and Luyu Yang.

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Bytedance, a company valued at $20 billion and which produces the Toutiao news aggregation app, announced the news on Friday morning but did not announce the financial terms, according to Bloomberg.

Started by Zhang Yiming (張一鳴), it is on track to pull in about US$2.5 billion in revenue this year, largely from advertising.

Bytedance wants to become a global success by turning its artificial intelligence tools on the rest of the world. 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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