ByteDance floats US IPO for TikTok in effort to win White House approval

TikTok


  • One avenue ByteDance is exploring to satisfy President Trump’s concerns about TikTok is a US IPO, CNBC’s David Faber reported on Thursday, citing sources.
  • ByteDance spinning off TikTok with a US listing could satisfy President Trump’s objection of the Beijing-based tech company retaining a majority stake in TikTok.
  • Walmart and Oracle would likely own minority stakes in a spunoff TikTok, according to Faber.
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ByteDance is exploring plans to spinoff its global TikTok operations in the form of an IPO on a US stock exchange, CNBC’s David Faber reported on Thursday.

The move could satisfy President Trump’s ownership concerns regarding ByteDance and TikTok. Trump said on Wednesday that he doesn’t like the idea of Beijing-based ByteDance retaining a majority stake in TikTok. 

Oracle would own a minority stake in TikTok of less than 20%, while Walmart is also expected to take a stake in the popular social media company, according to Faber. The potential size of Walmart’s stake is still unknown.

There would likely be a new US board of directors for TikTok’s American operations, with Walmart CEO Doug McMillion expected to have a seat on the board, CNBC reported.

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A potential TikTok IPO would likely mark the largest technology IPO in recent years, with the company being most recently valued at an estimated $50 billion in private funding rounds, according to Reuters.

In recent days, Trump has been meeting with cabinet members and advisers like Secretary of Treasury Steve Mnuchin and Jared Kushner on whether or not to approve a proposed TikTok deal with Oracle, according to CNBC.

Friday’s announcement that the Trump administration would block app downloads of TikTok and WeChat starting this Sunday suggest approval of a TikTok deal with Oracle is still up in the air. 

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