ByteDance denies TikTok is for sale

The Drum 24 Dec 2019 10:46

Chinese social media company ByteDance has denied reports that it has considered selling part or all of its popular short form video platform TikTok.

Bloomberg reported yesterday (23 December) that ByteDance was weighing options of a sale due to concerns from the US government over how it stores and uses personal data.

ByteDance has taken steps to separate its TikTok business from the rest of its Chinese operations in a bid to reassure the authorities.

However, its president Alex Zhu said these steps do not include a sale.

“From time to time you may read stories in the media that are not true. Today there is an inaccurate report claiming that ByteDance has considered selling part or all of TikTok,” Zhu said in an internal company note seen by Reuters.

“We went on the record saying it was not true, but they decided to publish it anyway. I want to assure you that we have had no discussions with potential buyers of TikTok, nor do we have any intention to.”

“These rumors are completely meritless,” she said.

The Chinese-owned company was recently valued at $75bn but has yet to introduce a formal advertising product on to the site. However, brands have been experimenting with the platform, despite well publicised brand safety issues earlier this year.

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