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Toutiao, a Chinese personalized news app, has agreed to acquire lip-sync app Musical.ly. No financial terms were disclosed, but word is the price-tag was between $800 million and $1 billion, via a mixture of cash and stock.

Why it matters Beyond the fact that a VC-backed company is paying unicorn prices for another VC-backed company that has a demographic shelf life? Okay, how about because this deal was actually competitive, and helps Toutiao play offense against the Chinese tech trinity — Alibaba, Baidu and Tencent — that is trying to eat into its core business.

Cap tables: Music.ly had raised around $116 million from GGV Capital, Qiming Venture Partners, Greylock and DCM Ventures. The most recent round, in May 2016, put the post-money valuation at around $500 million. On the buy-side, Toutiao reportedly is raising new funding at around $20 billion valuation. Existing backers include Sequoia Capital China and CCB International.

Sell-side rational: Musical.ly hopes that Toutiao can help it improve its recommendation algorithm.

Bottom line: "Think of [Music.ly] as a mixture of Vine, Snapchat, and Dubsmash — users, or "musers" as they're called, can record 15-second music videos of their favorite songs, and share them in a totally new social space. When editing, musers can play with the speed of the video, add filters, and elect to play the video backwards." — Kate Dwyer, Teen Vogue

Go deeper

Updated 2 hours ago - World

American men plead guilty to helping former Nissan chair escape Japan

Carlos Ghosn, former Nissan chair, during a news conference in Jounieh, Lebanon, last September. Photo: Hasan Shaaban/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Americans Michael Taylor and Peter Taylor pleaded guilty in a Tokyo court Monday to helping former Nissan chair Carlos Ghosn escape Japan in a box aboard a plane in 2019, per the Wall Street Journal.

The big picture: Ghosn was awaiting trial in Tokyo on financial misconduct charges following his 2018 arrest when he fled to Lebanon. He denies any wrongdoing.

Reports: Trump DOJ subpoenaed Apple for records of WH counsel Don McGahn

Former White House counsel Don McGahn leaves Capitol Hill after a closed-door meeting with the House Judiciary Committee on June 4, 2021 in Washington, DC. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Apple told former Trump administration White House counsel Don McGahn last month that the Department of Justice secretly subpoenaed information about accounts of his in 2018, the New York Times first reported Sunday.

Why it matters: Although it's unclear why the DOJ took the action, such a move against a senior lawyer representing the presidency is highly unusual.

Updated 7 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Victim dies after downtown Austin mass shooting

Police barricades near the scene of a shooting in Austin, Texas, on Saturday. Photo: Sergio Flores/Getty Images

A 25-year-old man died Sunday of injuries sustained in a mass shooting that wounded 13 other people in downtown Austin, Texas, the previous day, police confirmed.

The latest: Austin police named the victim as Douglas John Kantor, as they continued to search for one of two suspects. One suspect was taken into custody on Saturday following the shooting on 6th Street, a popular area with bars and restaurants.