Qutoutiao’s free novel platform Midu raises USD 100 million in Series B amid suspension

The target is to maintain 10 million daily active users by the year’s end.

Photo:stock.tuchong.com

Alibaba- and Tencent-backed mobile content platform Qutoutiao said on Wednesday that its subsidiary operating the online literature apps Midu Novels and Midu Novels Lite has closed a USD 100 million Series B funding round led by CMC Capital.

Qutoutiao, which has also poured cash into the investment and remains as the controlling shareholder, also said that Midu Novels has resumed regular content updates and commercial activities on Wednesday, after a three-month suspension to comply with recent regulatory requirements.

During that period, Midu Novels Lite was rolled out as a placeholder for Midu Novels, according to 36Kr. Qutoutiao plans to merge the two apps in the fourth quarter of this year.

Eric Siliang Tan, chairman and CEO of Qutoutiao, said that Midu continues to play a crucial role in Qutoutiao’s overall content platform strategy. He added that the company expects Midu to serve 10 million daily active users by the end of this year.

While Qutoutiao might have grand ambitions for Midu, the app has plenty of competition in China.

One rival is Qimao Novels (Qimao means “seven cats”), which has Baidu, China’s largest search engine, as an investor that holds a 37.4% stake.

In April, Qimao was the top app in downloads in Apple’s App Store in China, beating ByteDance’s two extremely popular products—the social media video platform Douyin, whose equivalent is known as TikTok outside the Chinese mainland; and Toutiao, a news and content aggregator—according to Duojiaoyutou, a Chinese WeChat account that focuses on investments in the entertainment sector.

36Kr is KrASIA’s parent company.