ByteDance set to list businesses on the stock market

November 02 17:38 2020
ByteDance set to list businesses on the stock market

TikTok parent company, ByteDance, reportedly in early IPO talks to list businesses,including short video app Douyin on the capital market

ByteDance is a Chinese tech giant that became increasingly popular after their app TikTok took the world by storm. Reports have it that the company is in the early stage of talks to list some of their businesses on the stock market, with their short video app Douyin, being one of the businesses.

ByteDance recently had discussions with investment bankers on the possibility of exploring an initial public offering (IPO) for some divisions of the company, according to a source that prefers to remain anonymous. The company was also reported to have spoken with the Shanghai and Hong Kong stock exchanges earlier in the year based on the rumored listing. However, the source stated that no decision has been made on the timeline or listing. The company has also declined to make any comment on the story despite several media houses trying to get a feel on the development.

The first report about a discussion championed by ByteDance to list short video app Douyin came from Reuters, citing two people familiar with the situation. Douyin can be said to be the equivalent of the popular TikTok video-sharing app, which is not available in China, with ByteDance running Douyin in China instead.

In addition to the planned move to list Douyin on the exchanges, ByteDance is also reportedly planning to list their other businesses including news aggregation service Toutiao.

The move by ByteDance to list their businesses, especially on the Hong Kong and Shanghai exchanges is coming as no surprise, as they have become popular listing destinations for Chinese tech companies in recent times. The likes of Alibaba and JD.com have done secondary listings in Hong Kong, despite being major US-listed giants. Ant Group, an affiliate of Alibaba, is also preparing to be listed in Hong Kong and Shanghai, a move that could be the biggest IPO in history.

ByteDance has been a victim of the US-China tensions and the exploration around listing businesses might be an offshoot of the tension. In addition to facing challenges from the US government, especially with the US President Donald Trump signing an executive order to ban banned TikTok from being downloaded from U.S. app stores, ByteDance is also under pressure to sell the operations of TikTok in the United States, with Oracle and Walmart already in the bid.

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