Beijing-based TikTok owner ByteDance has started the process of going public in Hong Kong and submitted an underwriter engagement letter to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, the China Securities Journal reported Wednesday.
ByteDance is being valued at nearly $400 billion to private equity investors, the South China Morning Post said on April 1, citing people familiar with the matter.
ByteDance owns well-known apps including information content platform Toutiao, Douyin, Xigua Video, and TikTok, and has a presence in several new areas such as education, e-commerce, gaming, and enterprise services.
In late March, ByteDance hired Chew Shou Zi, a former Xiaomi executive, as its newly created Chief Financial Officer (CFO), a move seen as ByteDance's preparation for an IPO.
ByteDance's most recent round of funding was in November 2020, led by Sequoia Capital and KKR, corresponding to a valuation of about $180 billion.
ByteDance has completed at least nine rounds of financing with participation from Sequoia Capital, SIG, Tiger Global Management, General Atlantic, KKR, Coatue, Softbank, and DST, raising tens of billions of dollars.
These funds are mainly used for the rapid development of ByteDance's global products and business lines, especially the expansion of TikTok overseas.