Photo: Qilai Shen/Bloomberg/Getty Images
Musical.ly Joins Chinese Headline App Family
ByteDance, the owners of the Jinri Toutiao "today's headlines" app, announced on Nov. 9 that they have added short video app Musical.ly to their app family. Beijing-based ByteDance has been valued at roughly $20 billion and observers speculate the size of the acquisition as in the neighborhood of $800 million.
China is where both ByteDance and Musical.ly's stories start but it is only part of where their joint story leads. Luyu Yang and Alex Zhu founded Musical.ly in 2014 and their app's social media video network now reaches an estimated 200 million users internationally after enormous first-year adoption.
While based in Shanghai, Musical.ly maintains a U.S. headquarters in San Francisco. Its sharing model for lip-syncing clips has unlimited demographic appeal but hits millennials' sweet spot. Well able to be the new parent for Musical.ly, ByteDance's growing portfolio of apps consolidates the powerful and growing Chinese internet presence not only online but in mainstream global culture.
ByteDance CEO Zhang Yiming said, "We are creating a significant global platform for our content creators and brands to engage with new markets."