Musical.ly sold to Toutiao owner Bytedance for $880M-$1B

www.nytimes.com

One of the week's biggest stories was the sale of three-year old Musical.ly, which began as a China-based education startup but pivoted right before running out of cash into a hit among US youngsters. Musical.ly rose to 60 million monthly users, but issues always seem to linger. The way the team deals with privacy issues around young people using an app -- posting videos that are quite often suggestive in nature -- and the China-US gap always stood out. Now Bytedance is adding its vast tech smarts -- including an impressive focus on AI and using data -- to help Musical.ly unlock the Chinese market and other parts of Asia, where it has no real presence but Toutiao does, and double down on North America. This acquisition definitely feels like a important moment for Chinese tech companies and their continued growth in the US.

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