Jing Yuan, co-founder and CEO of Shanghai-based game publisher Moonton announced Monday that the company has been acquired by NUVERSE, the gaming business division of Chinese technology TikTok and Douyin owner ByteDance. Yuan said in his announcement that Moonton will cooperate with ByteDance in expanding the overseas gaming market, but remain an independent developer. He will remain in his position as the CEO of the company.
Financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.
Moonton is the developer of mobile esports title Mobile Legends:Bang Bang. The game has a massive market share in Southeast Asia. As of February 2021, the game has been downloaded over 400M times, and 67% of downloads were in Southeast Asia, according to Sensor Tower data. Even after Riot Games launched its mobile title League of Legends:Wild Rift outside of China, the game saw a 10.8% downloading increase in February, compared to January.
Zhenhua Xu, another co-founder of Moonton, previously worked for Tencent Games in 2009 and was responsible for the online game operations, such as Plants vs Zombies Online.