Leading Chinese sports commentary and news platform, Hupu, has raised US$182 million from Bytedance, the Chinese operator of several machine learning-enabled content platforms including short videos app, TikTok. This funding is made in advance of its planned initial public offering (IPO).
This deal will give ByteDance a 30 percent stake in Hupu, which has over 30 million registered users. And Hupu’s founder and Chairman, Cheng Hang, will still remain as the company’s controlling shareholder.
Founded in 2007, Hupu provides sports events marketing and management as well as e-commerce and gaming services. It owns the sports site, Hupu.com, and a retail website for trending sports gear, Shihuo.cn.
Hupu and Bytedance have collaborated in the past, prior to the investment. After ByteDance became an official global partner of the National Basketball Association (NBA) last year, the two companies co-produced real-time NBA game videos and news.
The investment in Hupu aims to facilitate the growth of sports-related content on ByteDance’ domestic products such as Jinri Toutiao, Douyin, and Xigua Video.