Chinese startup ByteDance, which owns TikTok short video sharing service, plans to conduct an IPO in Hong Kong in the first quarter of 2020, according to the Financial Times, citing two sources familiar with the situation.
ByteDance chose Hong Kong to New York, despite recent unrest in the region. The United States is one of the countries where the company is facing increasing political pressure, the newspaper said. Last week, US senators Charles Schumer and Tom Cotton asked National Intelligence to launch an investigation into TikTok.
Before a potential listing, ByteDance still needs to take into account the concerns of American investors and get more political support in the United States, the Financial Times source said. ByteDance hired K&L Gates law firm to advise on US government policy. In addition, according to newspaper sources, the company plans to sell its TopBuzz news app to reduce the growing backlash in the US.
ByteDance is one of the most expensive startups in the world, estimated at more than $ 75 billion. The company’s first application was the Toutiao news aggregator, and TikTok was launched in 2016. According to TikTok, the number of its users in the world exceeds 500 million, 40% of which are under the age of 18.