Bytedance to acquire News Republic from Cheetah Mobile

Cheetah Mobile is selling News Republic to Bytedance for USD 86.60 million as part of a strategic cooperation with the artificial intelligence-powered content platform developer.

The Chinese mobile Internet application company said it has an option to elect to receive up to USD 50.00 million of the consideration in shares of its new, Beijing-headquartered partner.

News Republic is an aggregator of online news such as current affairs and politics in China and overseas, including relevant information on economy, military affairs, diplomacy, and public emergencies.

It may be classified as an Internet news information service provider; however, as it is incorporated in France, it is not eligible for the related licence in the People’s Republic.

This means News Republic could be prohibited from allowing people in China to use its website.

Regardless, Bytedance said the acquisition provides “access to high-quality content from thousands of high-profile media partners around the world, making an exciting step forward in our international expansion strategy”.

The company added: “It also broadens our reach into more overseas markets and enables us to provide more diverse and relevant contents to our users around the world."

Founded in 2012, Bytedance owns a series of content platforms but is perhaps best known for its flagship mobile app called Jinri Toutiao, or Today's Headlines.

Billed as the largest artificial intelligence–powered information network in China, this product aggregates news and videos from hundreds of media outlets and then delivers recommendations to every user, based on their interests.

The cooperation agreement means Cheetah’s customers can access Bytedance’s services in the global market while increasing its way of making money through advertising.

On the other hand, the new partner can tap into the New York Stock Exchange-listed company’s massive worldwide mobile user base.

© Zephus Ltd

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