TikTok Owner ByteDance Makes Big Gaming Purchase, Hires CFO

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ByteDance Technologies, the high-flying Chinese technology startup that owns a suite of apps including the popular TikTok, has made a major gaming acquisition that is the company’s biggest acquisition yet, paying a reported $4 billion to buy mobile game developer Moonton.

  • Moonton is a Chinese mobile game studio that’s best known for its multiplayer online battle arena game Mobile Legends: Bang Bang. It was founded just seven years ago and now has seen a big exit with a sale to ByteDance.
  • Per publicly-known information, Moonton is known to have raised just a small amount of venture funding, making its reported $4 billion sale price very lucrative for its shareholders. Its sale signals ByteDance having big ambitions venturing into the gaming world.
  • As it made a big gaming acquisition, ByteDance also announced the appointment of a new Chief Financial Officer poached from Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi. Shou Zi Chew, who served as Xiaomi’s CFO from 2015 to 2020 will become ByteDance’s first CFO and work primarily from Singapore.
  • ByteDance’s hiring of a CFO hints at possible plans to go public soon. In fact, the company has reportedly once held talks to list some of its businesses on the public markets.

ByteDance, being just nine-years-old, has grown unprecedently over the years to make its mark as a major technology company both in and outside China. It’s best known for owning TikTok, the short-form video app that’s taken the world by storm. It has a special TikTok equivalent in China known as Douyin that’s also taken the country by storm.

Along with TikTok and Douyin, ByteDance’s other apps include Chinese news aggregator Toutiao and Dailyhunt in India.

ByteDance is notably the highest-valued private technology company in the world, with a reported $180 billion valuation. It’s raised a whopping $7.4 billion in venture funding, having a mix of investors from both in and outside China such as Hillhouse Capital Group, Sequoia Capital China, SoftBank Group, and American private equity firm KKR.

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