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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 7 hours ago - World

Mexican President López Obrador tests positive for coronavirus

Mexico's President Andrés Manuel López Obrador during a press conference at National Palace in Mexico City, Mexico, on Wednesday. Photo: Ismael Rosas/Eyepix Group/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador announced Sunday evening that he's tested positive for COVID-19.

Driving the news: López Obrador tweeted that he has mild symptoms and is receiving medical treatment. "As always, I am optimistic," he added. "We will all move forward."

7 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Sarah Huckabee Sanders to run for governor of Arkansas

Sarah Huckabee Sanders at FOX News' studios in New York City in 2019. Photo: Steven Ferdman/Getty Images

Former White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders will announce Monday that she's running for governor of Arkansas.

The big picture: Sanders was touted as a contender after it was announced she was leaving the Trump administration in June 2019. Then-President Trump tweeted he hoped she would run for governor, adding "she would be fantastic." Sanders is "seen as leader in the polls" in the Republican state, notes the Washington Post's Josh Dawsey, who first reported the news.

Coronavirus has inflamed global inequality

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

History will likely remember the pandemic as the "first time since records began that inequality rose in virtually every country on earth at the same time." That's the verdict from Oxfam's inequality report covering the year 2020 — a terrible year that hit the poorest, hardest across the planet.

Why it matters: The world's poorest were already in a race against time, facing down an existential risk in the form of global climate change. The coronavirus pandemic could set global poverty reduction back as much as a full decade, according to the World Bank.