ByteDance’s Douyin Said to File HK IPO, Communication Underway on Underwriting Issues

ByteDance is considering listing its viral video-sharing unit Douyin in Hong Kong and people familiar with the matter said that investors including Goldman Sachs have communicated with ByteDance on the underwriting issues, 36Kr reported.

As Douyin’s biggest opponent in the domestic market, Kuaishou is also said to file an IPO in Hong Kong as early as the first quarter of 2021 with Bank of America and Morgan Stanley serving as sponsors.

As early as July this year, ByteDance was reported to consider an IPO in either the STAR Market or Hong Kong stock exchange. Reuters cited people familiar with the matter that Douyin’s valuation would exceed $100 billion.

In August 2020, daily active users on Douyin had surpassed 600 million while Kuaishou has not yet revealed the number for the same period. According to Kuaishou Content Report 2019 released in February this year, however, the platform’s DAUs exceeded 300 million in early 2020.

SEE ALSO: Creator of Douyin / TikTok: How We Created A Product with A Billion Views A Day in 18 Months: Part I

Short videos are not the only source contributing to the robust growth of the two competing platforms. E-commerce live-streaming, medium and long videos all pushed Douyin and Kauishou to flourish and gain popularity among Chinese netizens.

In October, the parent company of Douyin for the first time defined and promoted “medium video” which refers to horizontally-displayed videos presenting professional generated content (PGC) at a length of 1-30 minutes. The platform showed that more than 20% of the total views of Douyin belong to the category of medium videos.

The two rival platforms this year both made major investment in e-commerce live-streaming. Aiming for a GMV of 200 billion yuan, Douyin organized a fleet of livestreamers and invited controversial internet celebrity and entrepreneur Yonghao Luo as part of the team. Kuaishou also signed the king of mandopop Jay Chou and targeted a GMV of 250 billion yuan.

Per The Information, Kuaishou’s current valuation has reached an estimated $50 billion.