Every day, in a former Beijing airplane factory that is now the headquarters of Jinri Toutiao, servers sort and tag some 200,000 articles and videos that the mobile app’s users will consume that day. With nearly 600m users, five-year-old Toutiao has overtaken traditional and state-owned media to become a significant channel through which the world’s most populous country gets its news. Meaning “Today’s Headlines,” Jinri Toutiao is also one of China’s most valuable tech start-ups, valued at $11bn after its latest Series D funding round led by Sequoia Capital last month. While Toutiao hosts content but does not produce it, it maintains it has a key selling point in its “intelligent news feed,” where artificial intelligence and machine learning software tailor content. According to the Financial Times, it is betting that a personalized user experience will give it an edge over its competitors – the tech triumvirate of Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent.
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