TikTok parent ByteDance isn’t planning to list shares on the public market despite long-running rumors to the contrary, according to a new report.
ByteDance’s IPO plans (or lack thereof) just recently came to light in a report from the South China Morning Post (SCMP), which itself cited a piece from LatePost, a China-based (and Mandarin-language) tech and business outlet. Per the former analysis, a number of ByteDance execs, including CEO Liang Rubo as well as CFO (and TikTok CEO) Shou Zi Chew, informed staff of the news via an online meeting.
Elaborating upon the development – which arrives after TikTok initiated a round of layoffs in July – Rubo signaled that “many” of his company’s divisions have performed beneath expectations as of late, with higher-ups intending to reduce expenses relating to “noncore” operations as a result, per the SCMP once again. It’s unclear whether this cost-cutting effort will bring about additional layoffs.
Lastly, in terms of the stock plans of ByteDance, which reportedly dropped north of $2.14 million to lobby U.S. lawmakers during Q2 2022, the entity is poised to offer certain employees stock options at $155 per share, per Shanghai’s The Paper. The figure is said to reflect a $40-per-share price decline from 2021.
As mentioned, this isn’t the first time that ByteDance has opted not to pursue an IPO, for the business reportedly shelved a proposed initial public offering for TikTok after meeting with Chinese regulators.
Moreover, subsequent reports in 2021 specified that ByteDance would list on Hong Kong’s stock exchange notwithstanding the enhanced regulatory scrutiny that was reaching China’s tech sector. Evidently, however, the Beijing-headquartered company has since reconsidered.
Even with its potential public-market debut on the backburner – and amid the presence of reportedly underperforming segments – ByteDance is continuing to spearhead TikTok expansion plans.
To be sure, the decidedly controversial short-form video-sharing app has since July equipped its distribution service with a pre-release option and unveiled a ticket-integration deal with Live Nation’s Ticketmaster. ByteDance has also filed a U.S. trademark application for “TikTok Music” – suggesting that it may roll out a stateside Spotify competitor in the future.
In related news, TikTok competitor Triller has doubled down on its own IPO plans, and Warner Chappell last week announced a licensing tie-up with Kuaishou, one of TikTok’s China-based rivals.