Bytedance looking to sell its overseas content aggregator TopBuzz: report

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Shanghai Bytedance
Bytedance logo at its Shanghai headquarters. (Image credit: TechNode/Emma Lee)

Bytedance has been in talks for three months with potential buyers to sell TopBuzz, the company’s news app for overseas markets, the Information reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

Why it matters: Bytedance is trying to do away with products that are underperforming in order to focus on TikTok, the expansion of which has been guzzling considerable amounts of resources.

Details: Potential buyers include some US-based media companies, though it is unclear whether their discussions with Bytedance will result in a deal.

  • TopBuzz News ranks 35th among all news apps on iOS in the US, whereas TopBuzz Video ranks 727th among entertainment apps on iOS in the country, according the Information’s analysis of figures from App Annie on Wednesday.
  • Launched in 2015, TopBuzz has 36 million monthly active users (MAU) worldwide, according to its website.
  • TopBuzz is essentially the overseas version of Bytedance’s content aggregator for the China market, Jinri Toutiao.

Context: TopBuzz has published problematic content in the past, ranging from questionably sourced clickbait articles to content that is indisputably inaccurate.

  • Short video platform Douyin has 500 million MAU in China as of January 2019, a figure which doesn’t include global users for its overseas version, TikTok.
  • Bytedance said in July that it has 1.5 billion monthly active users across all of its apps, 700 million of which use its apps daily.