(Yicai Global) Aug. 19 -- A subsidiary of Bytedance Technology, the Chinese company behind the popular short-video app TikTok, has become the legal controller of China's second-largest encyclopedia website Baike, business data platform Tianyancha reported referring to newly amended business registration documents.
Through its investment arm Beijing Quantum Leap Technology, Bytedance bought a majority stake of 22 percent in Baike's operator Beijing Interactive Encyclopedia Network Technology for CNY8.71 million (USD1.2 million) on March 1, tech media platform 36Kr reported.
Baike is China's main competitor to tech giant Baidu's online encyclopedia Baidu Baike. It listed on the ChiNext Board in 2016, but delisted two years later due to poor business performance. Speculation that Beijing-based Bytedance plans a complete takeover of Baike has not been confirmed.
Baike founder Pan Haidong is now that company's second-largest shareholder with 15 percent of equity and is no longer its legal representative.
Bytedance, which runs several machine learning-enabled content platforms, seeks to strength its search business and better position itself in the industrial chain. On Aug. 10, it launched an engine called Toutiao Search capable of looking for content such as videos, news and music on in-house sites, including news aggregator Jinri Toutiao, micro headline app Wei Toutiao and TikTok.