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China's Cheetah Mobile Buying Ad Firm MobPartner for $58 Million

The cash-and-stock deal is designed to help Cheetah better monetize its portfolio of free Android software.

China’s Cheetah Mobile, which has been rapidly building a global Android software business, said Monday it is buying advertising technology company MobPartner for $58 million in cash and stock.

Advertising is particularly important to Cheetah, since it offers its products for free and relies on advertising and partnerships for its revenue. The company’s programs consist today mainly of security and utility software, though the company has ambitions to expand its lineup and further grow its non-China business.

“Over the past three years, we have delivered the best mission-critical apps to mobile users, significantly improving their mobile experiences,” Cheetah Mobile CEO Sheng Fu said in a statement. “Today, more than 340 million people use our apps worldwide on a monthly basis. While we have also made significant progress in building a global mobile advertising platform, we are only getting started.”

MobPartner has offices in San Francisco, London, Paris and Beijing and will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Cheetah when the deal closes. MobPartner CEO Djamel Agaoua will retain that title and also become a senior VP of Cheetah, which went public earlier this year.

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