Save 50%—more than $175—on a subscription during our 9th Anniversary celebrationAct Now

Bytedance  founder Zhang Yiming. Photo by Bloomberg.

China’s Toutiao Tried to Buy Reddit

Photo: Bytedance founder Zhang Yiming. Photo by Bloomberg.

Jinri Toutiao, the fast-growing $20 billion Chinese news and entertainment giant, tried to buy Reddit last year, according to people familiar with the offer. The previously unreported move reveals the Chinese company’s ambitions to become a global media juggernaut, according to people familiar with the matter.

The Chinese startup couldn’t reach a deal with Reddit’s shareholders, including Condé Nast, the people said. One reason was general skittishness among Reddit’s investors about selling to a Chinese internet company whose user and revenue numbers were tough to assess, according to one person. Another issue was the price, another person close to the situation said. Toutiao was offering private company stock, which can be hard for outsiders to value.

Get access to exclusive coverage
Read deeply reported stories from the largest newsroom in tech.
Latest Articles
 
The Briefing enterprise crypto
Salesforce Stock Drop Focuses Attention on Activist Investor
Stewart Butterfield. Photo by Bloomberg.
The biggest surprise about today’s news that Slack co-founder Stewart Butterfield is departing Salesforce, nearly 18 months after the company acquired Slack, may be that he was still there! It’s not unusual for founders of multibillion-dollar companies like Slack to exit shortly after their firm is acquired. Even so, coming a few days after Salesforce’s co-CEO Bret Taylor quit, Butterfield’s...
Latest Briefs
 
Slack CEO Butterfield to Leave Salesforce Next Month
Pinterest Cuts Recruiting Team, Slows Hiring
Influencer Marketing Startup Grin Lays Off 60 Employees
Stay in the know
Receive a summary of the day's top tech news—distilled into one email.
Access on the go
View stories on our mobile app and tune into our weekly podcast.
Join live video Q&A’s
Deep-dive into topics like startups and autonomous vehicles with our top reporters and other executives.
Enjoy a clutter-free experience
Read without any banner ads.
Charlie Bell. Photo via Microsoft
Exclusive microsoft amazon
A Former Amazonian Hits Bumps in Push to Make Microsoft More Secure
When Microsoft last year recruited Charlie Bell, a top product engineering executive at Amazon Web Services, it was a major coup for the software giant.
startups venture capital
Six Investors Chasing Debt Deals During the Downturn
With equity investors dialing back and public markets frozen over, startups that need to raise money are short of options.
The 1:1 policy
A Billionaire Couple Goes for Broke: How John and Laura Arnold Plan to Give It All Away
On Election Day, John and Laura Arnold found themselves deep in the lion’s den: a few blocks from the White House, working from the new Washington D.C.
Photo by Bloomberg.
Exclusive
Marc Lore’s Kitchen on Wheels Startup Cuts Staff, Dials Back Delivery Ambitions
Wonder, a mobile kitchen and food-delivery startup led by Jet.com founder Marc Lore, has laid off 7% of its workforce, a company spokesperson said, as it attempts to overhaul its business.
Animation by Clark Miller
The Big Read
The Passion of Cathie Wood: Why the ‘Wackiest Portfolio Manager on Earth’ Isn’t Losing Faith
Cathie Wood was sitting in a phone booth in the New York office of Ark Invest when she heard Tasha Keeney, one of the firm’s analysts, let out a scream—“a happy scream,” Wood recalled.
Photo by Getty. Art by Mike Sullivan.
Opinion culture
Employees Aren’t the Only Ones Suffering From Burnout
We’re living in a split-screen world when it comes to burnout and the employee experience. On one side are all the investments CEOs and human resources executives have been making in recent years—and especially since the pandemic began—to support employee well-being and mental health.