What happened: Beijing-based ByteDance is merging karaoke app Musical.ly with short-video sharing platform Tik Tok to create one global app under the Tik Tok brand. Douyin, the Chinese version of Tik Tok, will remain a stand-alone app.
Why it’s important: The merge is another move in ByteDance’s global strategy. Tik Tok has already gained popularity in Southeast and East Asia while Musical.ly made its way to US teenagers. The duo could be a powerful combination for the international market: Tik Tok was the most downloaded non-game app in the Apple app store globally Q1 of 2018. Domestically, however, Tik Tok/Douyin faces strong competition in the short video arena.