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Lip sync app Musical.ly sold to China's ByteDance for a reported $800 million

Musical.ly Inc., maker of the lip-syncing video app popular among teens, has reportedly been sold to China’s Beijing ByteDance Technology Co. for about $800 million.

Musical.ly, which launched in Shanghai in 2014 and opened U.S. 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.

The app has grown to more than 100 million users — known as “musers” — and maintains partnerships with media giants Viacom Inc. and NBCUniversal for original content. In 2016, the company introduced live-streaming app Live.ly.

Musical.ly’s investors include Silicon Valley firms GGV Capital and Greylock Partners.

ByteDance announced the deal Friday without disclosing the price. However, sources told the Wall Street Journal the deal was for at least $800 million.

ByteDance, which is valued at $20 billion, owns Jinri Toutiao, a popular digital news aggregator with 120 million daily users.

Musical.ly and ByteDance could not be immediately reached for comment.

david.pierson@latimes.com

Follow me @dhpierson on Twitter

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