Renren Inc., one of China’s top social networking platforms, announced Monday that it is acquiring user generated video site 56.com for about $80 million in cash. The deal is expected to complete before the end of the year. Juan Zhou, co-founder and chief executive officer of 56.com, will join Renren’s management team as vice president.
“UGC videos have been increasingly popular amongst [social network services] users as natural extensions of communication and content sharing. The acquisition of 56.com will help Renren further meet user needs of recording and sharing their lives through video format on our social network,” said Joseph Chen, chairman and chief executive officer of Renren. “We expect that the synergies and cross marketing opportunities between 56.com and Renren.com communities will further drive growth in user engagement, traffic, and advertising solutions to clients.”
Founded in 2005 and headquartered in Guangzhou, 56.com is an online video-sharing site that predominately offers user generated content plus some in-house productions. Its investors include Sequoia Capital, Steamboat Ventures, CID Group, and SIG. The company reported having 120 million daily video views, but that was before it removed a quantity of television programs it was not licensed to host.
Renren’s platform includes the main social networking website Renren.com, the online games center game.Renren.com, and the social commerce website Nuomi.com. As of June 30, Renren had more than 125 million registered members, 31 million of whom are active users.
“We are excited to become part of the Renren family,” said Juan Zhou. “Given its user base and broad offerings in [social network services], mobile, and social commerce, Renren’s platform will provide deeper resources and support to enhance 56.com’s attractiveness to users.”