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Popular teen app Musical.ly sells for reported $800 mil

Popular teen app Musical.ly sells for reported $800 mil

Chinese media company ByteDance acquired popular short-form video mobile application Musical.ly, the companies announced Friday. 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 US and Europe as well. Although financial details were not disclosed, multiple outlets are reporting that Bytedance is paying around $800 million for the buzzy video service.

Musical.ly, the massively popular social lip-syncing app beloved by teenagers, has a new owner.

ByteDance is considered one of China's hottest startups and is notable for keeping its independence from the three big tech conglomerates in the market, Tencent, Baidu and Alibaba.

In 2016, Musical.ly rolled out a live-streaming app called Live.ly, and it has struck content deals with Viacom, NBCUniversal and Hearst, among others. Bloomberg has informed it also appears to make interactive content for a younger audience.

More news: Mike Flynn reportedly involved in $15 million scheme to extradite Muslim cleric

Earlier this week ByteDance acquired news and video aggregation platform News Republic from China's Cheetah Mobile - itself an early investor in Musical.ly - for US$86.6 million.

The acquirement signifies the major project overseas thus far for a Chinese startup priced at $20 billion that is, by now, generated one of the world's most significant news services. Its parent company was valued at more than $20 billion, according to a person familiar with the matter, on par with Elon Musk's SpaceX.

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. The company recently bought aggregation platform News Republic from Cheetah Mobile, which is also an investor in Musical.ly, for Dollars 86.6 million. Toutiao bought the USA company Flipagram in February.


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