China Digest: ByteDance invests over $182m in Hupu; Origin Agritech gets $30m

The logo for Beijing ByteDance Technology Co.'s Jinri Toutiao mobile app is displayed at the company's headquarters in Beijing, China, on Thursday, Aug. 17, 2017. Photographer: Giulia Marchi/Bloomberg

Bytedance has invested over $182 million in sports community app Hupu while Beijing Changping Technology Innodevelop Group has committed $30 million to form a new joint venture with Origin Agritech.

ByteDance invests over $182m in sports community app Hupu

ByteDance, the Chinese operator of several machine learning-enabled content platforms including short videos app TikTok, has invested RMB1.26 billion ($182.27 million) in a pre-initial public offering (IPO) round of financing in Chinese sports commentary app Hupu, China Money Network reported.

This transaction gives ByteDance a 30 per cent stake in Hupu, which has 30 million registered users.

The firm said the two companies will work closely by sharing their online content and connecting contributors to make information create more value for users.

ByteDance and Hupu have collaborated prior to the investment. After ByteDance became an official global partner of the National Basketball Association (NBA), Hupu started using ByteDance’s Xigua Video as the default video platform when redirecting users, local media reported.

The investment in Hupu was said to facilitate the growth of sports-related content on ByteDance’ domestic products such as Jinri Toutiao, Douyin, and Xigua Video.

China agri biotech programme gets $30m

Beijing Changping Technology Innodevelop Group (BC-TID) has committed RMB204 million ($30 million) to form a new joint venture with Origin Agritech to focus on the commercialisation of genetically modified (GM) corn seed technologies, according to a statement.

Origin and BC-TID will establish the new entity with approximately equal partnership. Besides the funding, BC-TID will also contribute the Origin Life Science Center building in Beijing and two biotech corn traits to the new joint venture.

BC-TID is wholly owned by the local government of Changping District in Beijing and was set up as an industrial investment platform.

With over RMB10 billion assets, BC-TID mainly invests in the companies in the industrial parks of Changping District, where Origin Life Science Center building is located.

Founded in 1997, Origin Agritech is one of China’s leading agricultural technology and a rural social e-commerce companies, expanding in mid-2018 from crop seed breeding and genetic improvement business to be a leading technology developer in new rural e-commerce platform and blockchain technologies.