Chinese Media giant acquires social video app Musical.ly

Chinese Media Giant to Buy Karaoke App Musical.ly for $800 Million

The first prototype was released in April 2014, and the official version was launched in August of that year.

Chinese tech giant Bytedance has acquired the popular lip-sync platform Musical.ly in a deal worth up to $1bn (£750m).

The acquisition represents the biggest venture overseas thus far for a Chinese start-up valued at US$20 billion that has already spawned one of the world's largest news services. Bytedance outbid rivals including Kuaishou, the viral video streaming service. Bytedance proclaimed the contract Friday devoid of mentioning a price tag. It said the transaction will give it an important United States presence, adding Musical.ly's 100 million lip-synching users to Toutiao's own 120 million readers and viewers, while potentially adding a social media component. Musical.ly which was founded in Shanghai by Louis Yang and Alex Zhu in 2014, rapidly gained popularity among USA teens in 2016 and since then has expanded beyond its flagship app for creating and sharing personal music videos. The start-up's smack contracts with media firms including Viacom Inc. Bloomberg has informed it also appears to make interactive content for a younger audience. Hearst's "Seventeen" magazine has said it'll devise a slate of shows focused on fashion and beauty for Musical.ly.

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"Meanwhile Bytedance also made another acquisition this week, to augment its flagship Toutiao service (officially called Jinri Toutiao - which means" Today's Headlines"): "It's buying News Republic, a global mobile news aggregation service based in Bordeaux, France, from Cheetah Mobile for $86.6 million.

Bytedance, which was recently valued at $20 billion, says that Musical.ly will remain a separate, independent business. It also runs TopBuzz, an English-language news app similar to Toutiao.

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

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