ByteDance in talks to raise $ 2 billion ahead of Hong Kong listing: report

ByteDance, the Chinese parent company of the viral video platform TikTok, is in talks to raise $ 2 billion (around 14,800 billion rupees) from investors before some of its companies can be listed in Hong Kong, according to a report.

The plan could eventually value ByteDance at a massive $ 180 billion (roughly Rs 13,31,300), Bloomberg News reported late Thursday, citing people familiar with the talks.

This could lead to Beijing-based ByteDance eventually listing some of its greatest assets, such as Douyin, the Chinese version of TikTok, in Hong Kong.

ByteDance is currently struggling to avoid U.S. attempts to ban TikTok over national security concerns.

The listing of ByteDance assets could give a significant boost to the Hong Kong market, which has been weighed down by the US-China trade war, the coronavirus pandemic and violent protests against democracy last year.

Beijing is pushing its tech giants to list on Chinese stock exchanges.

Hong Kong and Shanghai were set this week for the dual listing of Ant, the Alibaba-affiliated digital payments and finance provider, in what would have been a world-record IPO.

But it was pulled at the last minute in an escalating dispute between Ant, whose majority shareholder is billionaire Alibaba co-founder Jack Ma, and Chinese regulators.

Citing fears of systemic financial risk, Beijing has imposed new restrictions on the fast-growing online credit and credit products that Ant offered in the run-up to the stock issue.

This was seen as a potential change in the business landscape for Ant and forced the IPO to be postponed for the time being.

The Trump administration has insisted on the need to ban TikTok, stating that it has ties to the Chinese government through ByteDance and that user data can be obtained from Beijing. The popular short video platform has 100 million users in the United States.

TikTok has repeatedly denied the claim. ByteDance has avoided a ban in the country by establishing TikTok Global, which will run the US short video app activities and be part of Walmart and Oracle.

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