The New York Times reports (paywall) that Musical.ly, “the only Chinese social-media company to build a major network outside China,” will be acquired by “a fast-growing Chinese upstart,” Bytedance, the company behind popular news app Toutiao.
- Musical.ly is a mobile, video-based social network that around 60 million people — mostly under age 18 in the United States — use to record and share short videos set to music.
- The company was founded in Shanghai in 2014, and is the only Chinese company to have achieved popular success in social networking in the U.S.
- “Between $800 million and $1 billion” is the price the Times says Bytedance paid for Music.ly.
- Bytedance’s flagship service Toutiao uses artificial intelligence to curate news feeds for mobile users, and has around 120 million users in China.
- Earlier this week, we noted that Bytedance had tried to buy Reddit, the U.S.-based social news aggregation, web content rating, and discussion website.
- Foreign tech in China
China says foreign firms won’t be forced to turn over technology / Bloomberg
“A top Communist Party official said…that China won’t force foreign companies to turn over technology secrets to gain market access, signaling attention to a key sticking point with U.S. President Donald Trump.” This is in the context of years of regulatory pushing for technology transfers, and government access to data and source code.
- Foreign access to Chinese stock markets
Shanghai working on London Stock Connect / Caixin
- Risky business on the stock markets
China bans actress Zhao Wei from stock trading for five years / Bloomberg
Billionaire Chinese actress and director Zhao Wei 赵薇, aka Vicki Zhao, “has received a five-year ban from trading in the mainland stock market for irregularities connected with a takeover bid.”
- The senior citizen economy
WeChat becomes “a lifestyle” as senior users, calls, and payments all see large increases / TechNode
- The on-demand everything economy
China’s biggest Uber-for-trucks apps in talks to merge / Bloomberg
If Huochebang and Yunmanman merge, the combined entity could become the first dominant player in China’s on-demand trucking industry, where at least 200 companies currently compete.
- The long sad story of American internet firms in China
LinkedIn faces setback in China as it runs afoul of new rules / NYT (paywall)
“This week the jobs-and-professional-networking service blocked individuals from advertising jobs on its site in China, after it ran afoul of new government regulations requiring it to verify their real identities.”
- Singles Day
Live blog: Singles’ Day madness 2017 / TechNode
TechNode covers the madness of China’s shop-till-you-drop festival, organized every year on November 11 by ecommerce companies.
Explainer: Why do millions of people choose to shop online on November 11? / SCMP
- Artificial intelligence (AI)
How one US data company is helping feed China’s hungry AI / TechNode
Shenzhen-listed tech major eyes medical sector after its AI robot aces exam to qualify as doctor / SCMP
- South Korea gets back to business in China
Lotte gets approval for China property project as bilateral tensions ease / reuters
- Pollution crackdown hits farmers, not just steelmakers
China’s war on pollution roils world’s biggest livestock sector / The Straits Times
Fosun reports strong sales of malaria drug / Caixin
Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical reported strong sales of its antimalarial injection, Artesun, since its approval for use by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2010.