, Jakarta – TikTok owner ByteDance said on Monday that video game unit Nuverse had agreed to acquire Shanghai-based Moonton Technology, as part of the company’s efforts to further expand its video game business.
This acquisition is a major breakthrough in the video game business, putting ByteDance in direct competition with China’s Tencent.
“Through collaborating across teams and leveraging lessons and insights from its rapid growth, Moonton is providing the strategic support needed to accelerate Nuverse’s global gaming offering,” ByteDance said in a statement.
In an internal memo, Yuan Jing, CEO of Moonton said the company will operate independently from ByteDance following the acquisition. An anonymous Reuters source said Moonton was not currently authorized to speak to the press.
Moonton Technology, founded by a former Tencent employee, is widely known in Southeast Asia for its multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) Mobile Legends. Tencent, China’s largest video game and social media company, had made a bid for Moonton but Bytedance’s bid was eventually surpassed by Bytedance last week.
Contacted by Reuters, Tencent said it does not comment on market speculation. This acquisition means ByteDance now has a MOBA game that can compete with Tencent’s Honor of Kings and League of Legends, which have been considered the source of Tencent’s coffers.
Since 2017, Tencent and Riot Games have filed several lawsuits against Moonton for what they call copyright infringement. The reason is, some elements of Mobile Legends are considered plagiarism of content belonging to League of Legends.
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