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ByteDance acquires C4-Games, challenging Tencent overseas

Written by Song Jingli Published on     2 mins read

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The company launched its first game through Douyin just 2 years ago and is aiming to expand its reach in the market.

ByteDance, via its gaming unit Nuverse, has fully acquired Beijing-based mobile game publisher C4-Games, the firm confirmed with KrASIA on Wednesday, without revealing financial details. The deal comes shortly after the TikTok-owner bought Moonton, a Shanghai-based game studio with hit titles such as Mobile Legends: Bang Bang and Magic Push.

“This can lift the company’s valuation,” a game developer surnamed Yang told KrASIA. “It allows ByteDance to quickly enhance its gaming business and increase its monetization capability, pressuring Tencent at the same time.”

Founded in 2011, C4-Games rolled out titles including Red Alert and Fangzhi Shaonü. Red Alert is distributed exclusively by Tencent and had a total of 20 million registered players by the end of March last year. It is generating daily revenues of RMB 200 million (USD 31 million), according to the company’s website. Fangzhi Shaonü was released in 2017 in Japan, where it was the Chinese game with the second highest revenue in the first quarter of last year, according to Sensor Tower.

Tencent’s PUBG Mobile remains the most popular mobile game globally based on the number of monthly active users for the second consecutive year in 2020, the gaming giant pointed out in its annual report, citing App Annie.

ByteDance launched its first game through its short video app Douyin in February 2019, and later that year, bought its first two game publishers, Mokun Technology and Shanghe Internet Technology. It is leveraging the acquisitions, as well as its in-house development capabilities, to build a gaming empire of its own.

On Wednesday, Chinese media reported that ByteDance is preparing for an IPO on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

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