ByteDance, owner of the world’s most popular short video app, TikTok, is studying the possibility of making the app a separate company, and operated, mostly, by American investors.
Selling a part not to lose everything
ByteDance is evaluating taking a series of decisions, which involve the company’s IPO, the separation of TikTok, and the IPO of the app itself after the separation.
If these actions take place as expected, the market value of the parent company should be valued at around $ 100 billion, while “a” TikTok would be worth around $ 50 billion.
It was confirmed that ByteDance entered into contact with US investors Sequoia and General Atlantic. The idea would be to separate from TikTok, which would become a company held by a majority of American investors, while ByteDance would be a minority shareholder.
ByteDance is also trying to set up offices for its non-Chinese operations, including TikTok, in other countries. The main candidates are USA, UK, Ireland and Singapore. In early July, the company was looking for an area of up to 2,800 m² in London, which could house up to 1,000 employees.
TikTok may be banned from the USA
The decision to make TikTok an independent and “non-Chinese” company is linked to the risk that the app is in danger of being banned from the US, where it is being investigated by the Foreign Investment Committee (CFIUS).
On Wednesday (29), American President Donald Trump said the app has been under review and a decision could be made at any time. On another occasion, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the app could be banned completely from the country.
The reason for the American concern with the app would be an alleged national security issue. It is feared that TikTok could spy on users and hand over their personal data to the Chinese government, accusations that are still largely without evidence.