A representative from Beijing-based internet technology firm Bytedance has denied a recent report regarding its alleged plan to launch an initial public offering (IPO) at the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in the near future.
The unnamed source, cited by domestic media outlet the Global Times, claimed that the story published yesterday by British newspaper the Financial Times was inaccurate, affirming in clear terms, “this news is not true.”
Bytedance has so far refrained from issuing an official public statement regarding the matter.
The news report in question cited three individuals with knowledge of the company’s intentions, who said that Bytedance is currently taking steps to prepare for an IPO in Hong Kong “in either the fourth quarter of this year or early 2022.”
Expanding since its establishment in 2012 to become one of the world’s leading online media companies, Bytedance is the owner of the wildly popular TikTok video sharing platform, as well as its counterpart for users in the Chinese mainland, Douyin.
There has been a high level of speculation surrounding the possibility of a Bytedance IPO, which was recently valued as high as $425 billion on the grey market.
Earlier this year, founder Zhang Yiming suspended plans for the company to list in either the US or Hong Kong, claiming the need to undergo a thorough review of various data security risks.
The move to shelve the listing came shortly after the IPO of Chinese ride-sharing firm Didi Chuxing at the New York Stock Exchange, which prompted regulators in Beijing to launch a comprehensive investigation into the company’s data management and remove the app from online stores.
Recent months have seen the emergence of a more robust regulatory approach by officials in Beijing with regards to the burgeoning domestic tech sector, with overseas IPOs representing one of the major sticking points.
Bytedance is now one of the world’s leading internet companies. The firm’s TikTok and Douyin platforms now boast a combined total of more than 1.2 billion daily active users, according to research firm Omnicore.