Tiktok Owner ByteDance Says ‘Absolutely Zero Truth’ to Report It Plans to Go Public

TikTok Owner ByteDance Says 'Absolutely Zero Truth' to Report It Plans To Go Public

Photo Credit: ByteDance / Twitter

The owner of the popular video app TikTok has denied a report that it is planning to file an IPO.

The report came from the Financial Times, which indicated that TikTok’s parent ByteDance would be filing an initial public offering in Hong Kong as early as the first quarter of 2020.  The newspaper cited two internal company sources, who were supposedly briefed on the company’s plans.

But a spokesperson for ByteDance denied this. In a statement emailed to Reuters, they said that “There is absolutely zero truth to the rumors that we plan to list in Hong Kong in Q1.”

In the same Reuters report, four other internal company sources expressed the belief that, while the Chinese company does in fact plan to go public at some time in the future, this was not something that would happen anytime soon.

ByteDance is considered one of the world’s most valuable unicorns.

A unicorn is a private company whose value exceeds $1 billion, and ByteDance’s status as one has led to rampant speculation that it would soon go public. The company, which has been in operation for 7 years, recently reported earnings of more than $7 billion for the first half of 2019. At the moment, it is being valued at $78 billion.

With TikTok’s success has come controversy. Some U.S. legislators have expressed concerns relating to how TikTok collects user data as well as to whether the Chinese government was censoring U.S. content. Facebook, which is a competitor of TikTok, also criticized the company over censorship.

TikTok, though, insists that it operates outside the control of the Chinese government and that its operations are not even in China.

The company has also drawn the wrath of much of the music industry, which has accused the platform of being a serial copyright infringer. But this didn’t stop the American Music Awards from announcing its nominees on the platform.