5 months ago
Slovenian app maker Outfit7’s Talking Tom Cat app has proven a viral sensation among mobile users—and a lucrative one for advertisers.
But as Bloomberg notes, it’s the company that paid $1 billion for the app that has been dominating recent financial headlines: a Chinese company, Zhejiang Jinke Peroxide Co., founded in 2007. (It’s since swapped “Peroxide” for “Entertainment Culture” in its name, but Bloomberg has no records of how it was able to amass $1 billion for the sale.)
This is part of an ongoing trend of “opaque” Chinese companies that have a shroud of mystery hanging over them, but seem to be doing business as usual with Western clients. Examples include a Beijing real estate magnate that took over Legendary Entertainment (the studio behind the Dark Knight trilogy) and a Chinese poultry processing company that now owns the gamer studio behind Gears of War.
In fact, 70 percent of gaming company acquisitions since 2015 have come from China. And just where is the money for a deal like the one for Talking Tom Cat coming from? Says Bloomberg, “[It’s] being bankrolled by a group of Chinese individuals, banks, pension funds, and other investors, who may seek to sell the Talking Tom maker yet again after getting the business to grow in China.”