TikTok owner denies IPO reports

By Yana Berman

Byte Dance, the Chinese start-up behind lip-syncing video craze, denies reports of a 2020 listing.

TikTok owner denies IPO reports                                 

Chinese start-up ByteDance, owner of popular video app TikTok, has denied the rumours that it is going public in Hong Kong early 2020, Reuters wrote.

A spokesman said there was “zero truth” to rumours of listing in financial media.

The comment appeared shortly after a Financial Times report of the listing came out. The newspaper claimed that the company wanted to IPO in Hong Kong in 2020.

The FT said that the Chinese start-up preferred Hong Kong over New York, despite the recent protest in the regions and the massive drop of local Hang Seng Index. The article claimed that the listing could happen as soon as the first quarter of next year.

As well asTikTok, the company, founded in 2012, also owns Chinese news app Jinri Toutiao. In 2018, ByteDance was valued at $75bn (£58.5bn, €67.7bn) following a successful $3bn (£2.3bn, €2.7bn) funding round led by SoftBank.

In September, ByteDance revealed first-half results including revenue of $7bn (£5.4bn, €6.3bn) to $8.4bn (£6.5bn, €7.5bn).

TikTok is facing a backlash in the U.S., where senators Charles Schumer and Tom Cotton urged officials to investigate the app amid the "national security risks" allegedly posed by its use.

The FT also claimed that ByteDance is now hiring staff in the U.S., including former American officials, in order to address the concerns raised by the senators.

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