China's Bytedance in Talks to Sell Gaming Unit Moonton
Updated: Jan 5
Bytedance, the parent company of popular video-sharing app TikTok, is reportedly in discussions with potential buyers regarding the sale of its gaming unit, Moonton Technology.
The Shanghai-based studio, known for developing the mobile game "Mobile Legends: Bang Bang," was acquired by Bytedance in 2021 for $4 billion. However, sources familiar with the matter have revealed that Bytedance is now considering selling Moonton due to its underwhelming performance and a desire to focus resources on its core business.
The talks are said to be at an early stage and a deal is not guaranteed. Bytedance has reportedly met with at least one Saudi-based firm to discuss the potential sale. The company has declined to comment on the matter.
Moonton's acquisition was seen as Bytedance's major move into the global video games market, which is valued at $187 billion. However, since the acquisition, Moonton has not released another hit game, leading to disappointment and a desire to divest the gaming unit.
This potential sale comes after other setbacks in Bytedance's gaming expansion. Last year, the company disbanded its game development unit, 101 Studio, based in Shanghai. Additionally, Bytedance recently announced plans to restructure its virtual reality (VR) unit, Pico, focusing on hardware and cutting jobs related to software and games.
The Chinese government's crackdown on the video games sector has also impacted Bytedance's gaming ventures. Following Moonton's acquisition, the government implemented strict regulations, causing the sector to shrink for the first time in 2022.
Moonton, which operates not only in mainland China but also in Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Hong Kong, has over 1,600 employees worldwide, according to its website.
Bytedance is in talks with potential buyers for the sale of its gaming unit, Moonton Technology.
Moonton, known for the game "Mobile Legends: Bang Bang," was acquired by Bytedance in 2021 for $4 billion.
Bytedance's decision to sell Moonton is due to its underwhelming performance and a desire to focus on its core business.