The Uptake | In the Public Eye

Ask five people what they think ByteDance’s valuation is, and you might get six different answers.

That number is more than a subject of speculation when people wonder how high it can go. It’s a constant reminder that ByteDance is a mature, globe-spanning company that needs to answer to its investors. That means there needs to be a liquidity event, such as an initial public offering, for backers to turn their investments into fabled 10x, 50x, 100x gains.

Yet current macroeconomic conditions may hamper attempts by ByteDance to go public, even if that comes in the form of a specific arm, such as Douyin, seeking its own IPO. Other Chinese companies that have applied to go public in Hong Kong have opted to slow down their processes because of falling valuations and low liquidity.

With that said, there may be a window of opportunity coming up for Douyin to head to public markets. Its e-commerce sales more than tripled over the past 12 months. This story of growth is precisely what could provide good momentum leading to an IPO.

Nobody can say with certainty when ByteDance or any of its subsidiaries might start the process of gaining a ticker code. Every new appointment and business registration adjustment is seen as an omen that one of China’s largest private tech enterprises is about to go public.

In the latest entry of KrASIA Connection, we examine the possibility of an imminent Douyin IPO. Check out the article here.

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