China's Bytedance to buy lip-sync app Musical.ly

China's Toutiao buys teens social video app Musical.ly in latest expansion

Last year, it rolled out a live-streaming app called Live.ly. The first prototype was released in April 2014, and the official version was launched in August of that year.

Bytedance has agreed to buy video-app maker Musical.ly in a deal reportedly worth up to $1 billion.

The acquirement signifies the major project overseas thus far for a Chinese startup priced at $20 billion that is, by now, generated one of the world's most significant news services.

Besides Musical.ly's passionate user base, Bytedance will get inroads into Hollywood with the acquisition: Musical.ly has deals with Viacom, NBCUniversal and Hearst Magazines Digital Media, which have developed short-form shows for the video platform. Bytedance proclaimed the contract Friday devoid of mentioning a price tag.

The Musical.ly app allows users to share 15 second videos of lip syncing popular songs and making amusing faces.

Musical.ly, which launched in Shanghai in 2014 and opened US offices in Santa Monica in 2016, was originally designed as a hub for 15-second goofy videos of users dancing and singing to snippets of popular tunes.

"Musical.ly's vision is to make entertainment more personal, participatory and interactive, by enabling anyone to be a content creator", explained Yang and Zhu in a joint statement.

Additionally, Musical.ly will work with Bytedance to develop its presence in new markets including China, Japan, Korea and Southeast Asia, where Bytedance already has a strong footprint. The company recently bought aggregation platform News Republic from Cheetah Mobile, which is also an investor in Musical.ly, for Dollars 86.6 million.

ByteDance is considered one of China's hottest startups and is notable for keeping its independence from the three big tech conglomerates in the market, Tencent, Baidu and Alibaba.

"By integrating Musical.ly's global reach with Bytedance's massive user base in China and key Asian markets we are creating a significant global platform for our content creators and brands to engage with new markets", expressed Yiming Zhang, founder and CEO of Bytedance.

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