Parent of Chinese news app Toutiao buys Musical.ly for reported $800m

13 November, 2017, 02:19 | Author: Marie Harrington
  • Musically app Musically app acquired

Musical.ly, the lip-syncing app popular with teens and young people, has been sold to Chinese social media giant Toutiao, according to an announcement made today. Although financial details were not disclosed, multiple outlets are reporting that Bytedance is paying around $800 million for the buzzy video service. Users can share, like and comment on the clips, which run between 15 seconds and a minute in length.

As reported by Bloomberg, citing people familiar with deal, the acquisition has been confirmed by Bytedance but the company did not reveal the price it paid. In 2016, it rolled out a livestreaming app called Live.ly, and struck deals with media companies Viacom and NBCUniversal to make original.

Additionally, Musical.ly will work with Bytedance to develop its presence in new markets including China, Japan, Korea and Southeast Asia, where Bytedance already has a strong footprint. "To achieve this, we need to constantly innovate to provide new and exciting video creation tools to our users, and we see AI as a critical factor in augmenting human creativity".

Musical.ly lets users lip-sync along to short music clips or sing and dance a capella and upload it to the site.

TripAdvisor marks hotels where sexual assaults have been reported with red badges
But hotel experts warned the badges could be hugely damaging to hotels who had false or unsubstantiated claims made against them. TripAdvisor is also rolling out a new policy on communicating with users about why reviews or forum posts are rejected.

It added to the push this week by acquiring aggregation platform News Republic from Cheetah Mobile Inc (獵豹移動), which is also an investor in Musical.ly, for US$86.6 million.

The only Chinese social-media company to build a major network outside China will be taken over by a fast-growing Chinese upstart.

Bytedance itself has been on a tear over the past two years thanks primarily to Toutiao, which claims 120 million monthly users.

Zhang Yiming, Bytedance's chief executive said: "By integrating Musical.ly's global reach with Bytedance's massive user base in China and key Asian markets, we are creating a significant global platform for our content creators and brands to engage with new markets".

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