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TikTok owner ByteDance takes over Mobile Legends developer Moonton Technology

GAMEFINITY.ID, Jakarta – TikTok owner ByteDance said Monday that Nuverse’s video game division has agreed to acquire Shanghai-based Moonton Technology as part of the company’s efforts to further expand its video game business.

This acquisition marks a major breakthrough in the video game business and puts ByteDance in direct competition with China’s Tencent.

“By working across teams and leveraging insights from its rapid growth, Moonton provides the strategic support needed to accelerate Nuverse’s global gaming offering,” ByteDance said in a statement.

In an internal memo, Moonton CEO Yuan Jing said the company will operate independently of ByteDance after the acquisition. An anonymous source from Reuters said Moonton is not currently authorized to speak to the press.

Founded by a former Tencent employee, Moonton Technology is well known in Southeast Asia for its multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) game Mobile Legends. Tencent, China’s largest video game and social media company, made a brief offer to Moonton, but the offer was eventually topped by Bytedance last week.

When asked by Reuters, Tencent said it hadn’t commented on market speculation. That acquisition means ByteDance now has a MOBA game that can rival Tencent’s Honor of Kings and League of Legends, which have long been considered the source of Tencent’s coffers.

Since 2021, Tencent and Riot Games have filed several lawsuits against Moonton for what is known as copyright infringement. This is because some elements of Mobile Legends are considered plagiarism of League of Legends content.

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