What happened: Bytedance has made an investment of an undisclosed amount in a celebrity management agency named Mountain Top, according to Chinese business research platform Tianyancha.com. The Beijing-based agency was founded in 2015 and has a roster of movie A-listers including Angelababy and Zhou Dongyu. The firm also manages KOLs such as Papi Jiang who has more than 30 million followers on Bytedance’s Douyin (aka TikTok).
Why it’s important: Bytedance, the operator of popular news aggregator Jinri Toutiao and short video app Douyin, has been plotting its foray into long-form videos like films and television drama segments—a market dominated by platforms including Baidu’s iQiyi, Tencent Video, and Youku. Investing in celebrity agencies would give Bytedance the talent and resources to produce more ambitious projects. The startup made a similar move last year by establishing a new venture for talent management, TV show production, and distribution.