• Chethan Machaknur

ByteDance to Invest $170 Mn into e-book reader Zhangyue

Zhangyue announced Wednesday evening that a ByteDance wholly-owned subsidiary plan to acquire about 11% of its shares for 1.1 Bn yuan or $170 Mn. The China-listed online literature company, with a current market cap of 12 Bn yuan, operates an app where 170 Mn users read novels, magazines, anime and listen to audiobooks every month during H1.

The partners are targeting a booming online reading market driven by China’s smartphone penetration. The deal will form a close alliance between Zhangyue and China’s leading digital entertainment titan. Under the agreement, ByteDance gets to assign one board member to Zhangyue and will be able to license the publisher’s intellectual property.

In return, Zhangyue will get ByteDance support in areas like ad buying, monetization, and other technologies. The success of Douyin, TikTok and newsreader Toutiao, which collectively claim users in the hundreds of millions, have turned ByteDance into a new darling for brands and advertisers.

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