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12 November 2017, 02:24 | Clyde Nash
Musical.ly, a Chinese App Big in the US, Sells for $1 Billion
Bytedance also recently entered a deal with Chinese mobile-app developer Cheetah Mobile to fund Live.me, a live-streaming app majority-owned by Cheetah with a community of about 30 million users, with $50 million.
The deal could help Toutiao - which has over 120 million daily active mostly in China - push into more overseas markets where Musical.ly has a bigger presence. Musical.ly which was founded in Shanghai by Louis Yang and Alex Zhu in 2014, rapidly gained popularity among United States teens in 2016 and since then has expanded beyond its flagship app for creating and sharing personal music videos. Bytedance outbid rivals including Kuaishou, the viral video streaming service.
Here's how Zhang Yiming, Bytedance's founder and CEO, explained the rationale for the Musical.ly deal: 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", he said in a statement.
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Musical.ly, which lets users take videos of themselves lip-synching to songs, launched in 2014. "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".
Bytedance operates a suite of products that provide creators and users with a content experience powered by machine and deep learning algorithms. The company recently bought aggregation platform News Republic from Cheetah Mobile, which is also an investor in Musical.ly, for Dollars 86.6 million.
Bytedance is also known for their mobile app called, Jinri Toutiao, meaning "Today's Headlines" that releases news and videos from hudreds of media outlets. This summer, Reddit raised $200 million in new funding, giving it a valuation of $1.8 billion.
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