Toutiao buys the only Chinese social network big in the U.S.

Part of the daily SupChina newsletter. Subscribe for free.


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.

Share
Jeremy Goldkorn

Jeremy Goldkorn is co-founder of the Sinica Podcast and currently edits SupChina and its daily newsletter.