ByteDance Plans TikTok IPO To Win US Deal – Sources

According to the people familiar with the matter, TikTok’s Chinese owner ByteDance is planning to hold a U.S. initial public offering of TikTok Global, the new company which will operate the short video app, if the proposed deal be cleared by the United States government. 

US President Donald Trump in August signed an executive order to ban US transactions with the TikTok owner ByteDance and the WeChat owner Tencent, and gave them 45 days to be acquired by a US company in order to continue operating in the USA. 

When asked by reporters if he would extend the deadline for the controversial short video app, ‘’There’ll be no extension of the TikTok deadline.’’ he said. ‘’We’ll see what happens. It’ll either be closed up or they’ll sell it’’

As the deadline looms for TikTok, ByteDance is looking for ways to clinch an agreement to save its app from the US ban which Trump said could happen as early as next week. 

According to some sources familiar with the matter, ByteDance is planning a U.S. IPO of TikTok Global, which it plans to form with Oracle Corp, in about a year. 

One of the sources said that ByteDance and The White House have come to an agreement on a term sheet on some aspects of a deal, but President Trump hasn’t approved it yet.

The source also said that Oracle Corp, which recently won bid for TikTok’s US operations as ByteDance rejected Microsoft’s offer, and potentially Walmart Inc, which reportedly partnered with Microsoft to boost its online sales, would hold at least a 60% stake in the company.

Mark Meadows, White House Chief of Staff, said that the situation was still fluid. ‘’There’s no definite proposal that the president’s being asked to consider or reject at this point,” he added. 

A source said that TikTok Global’s board will have a majority of American directors, and include a U.S. chief executive and a security expert. Oracle has agreed to have a 20% stake in TikTok Global and Walmart’s CEO Doug McMillion would get a seat on the board too if his company acquires a stake. 

Donald Trump said that his administration on Thursday had a meeting with Walmart and Oracle. However, ‘’nothing much has changed’’. 

“I guess Microsoft is still involved.” he added. “We’ll make a decision soon,” 

According to Reuters, the filing of the IPO could come in about a year and would be one of the biggest-ever stock market debuts in the tech sector. 

But it’s not certain yet if the Trump administration will sign the agreement or not, and ByteDance said on Thursday that it would need China’s approval on the proposed deal with the White House. 

Keep following Mobile Marketing Reads for the latest developments.

Written by Maya Robertson

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