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Startups

How a Little-Known Startup Became a Tech Behemoth

In less than a year, the startup behind China’s most popular newsfeed Toutiao has transformed itself into a $30 billion empire of more than a dozen media and entertainment apps. Its breakneck expansion and skyrocketing valuation are prompting questions about whether it is on course to become the next Alibaba or Tencent, or if the rapid growth is unsustainable.

Those questions have risen to the forefront as the company, Beijing Bytedance Technology, discusses a new round of fundraising, according to people familiar with the matter. While the talks are in the early stage, some investors say they anticipate a $50 billion valuation.

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