Headlines from China: Farewell, Musical.ly

Farewell, Musical.ly

If you are a user of the video social network app Musical.ly, the next time when you update the app on your phone, you will see that the updated app becomes Tik Tok, the international version of hit Chinese short-video app Douyin. Launched in 2014 in North America, Musical.ly soon gained popularity worldwide. In November 2017, Douyin’s parent company Toutiao, a China-based content firm, bought Musical.ly in a deal worth $800M-$1B, which marks the biggest acquisition deal Toutiao ever made. After acquiring Musical.ly for about 10 months, Toutiao officially announced yesterday that Musical.ly would be merged with Tik Tok. After the merger, Tik Tok will be headquartered in Los Angeles. Read more on TMT Post

Legendary East CEO Jiang Wei to Lead Wanda Media 

On August 2, WeChat media account “yushihu” reported that Wanda Media (formerly known as Wanda Pictures) General Manager Yuan Xin had left his position three months ago. The position will be filled this week by Jiang Wei, who is also the CEO of Legendary Entertainment’s China subsidiary Legendary East. Before joining Legendary East, Jiang Wei served as the Executive Director of Shaw Brothers Holdings Limited in Hong Kong. Jiang has also worked for Sony Pictures where he participated in the distribution of Ang Lee’s Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon. According to sources familiar with the matter, Wanda Group has a strict performance review system where employees who can’t meet the KPIs are unable to keep their jobs, which is the main reason why Wanda Media sees higher management reshuffle very often. Read more on D-entertainment

Illegal App Gives Access to Paid Content on Major Video Sites in China for $1.45/Year

iQiyi’s annual membership fee is 248 yuan ($36.3) and Tencent Video’s annual fee is 233 yuan ($34.1). However, an app that allows access to paid content on almost all major Chinese sites, such as iQiyi, Tencent Video, Youku and Sohu Video, for only 9.9 yuan ($1.45)/year. Currently, Tencent and iQiyi are working with police to conduct investigations and collect evidence. In addition, platforms also try to enhance their security to prevent third parties from stealing content from them. For users who purchase the illegal app, they also face risk in regards to their privacy. Read more on entgroup.cn