The Financial Times reported Monday that TikTok's parent company wants to go public, but the company was quick to deny the report.
ByteDance is the Chinese company behind the hot short-form video app, which is famous for its popularity with younger demographics. Most recently valued at a reported $75 billion, ByteDance owns a portfolio of other social media apps, although TikTok is by far its biggest success. TikTok is also a special case in that it has become globally successful, particularly in the US and India.
Two sources familiar with the matter told the FT that ByteDance is planning to go public as soon as the first quarter of next year, and has chosen the Hong Kong stock exchange over New York.
A TikTok spokesman strongly denied the claim to Business Insider, "There is absolutely zero truth to the rumors that we plan to list in Hong Kong in Q1," he said. Reuters also reported that four sources familiar with ByteDance had said it had no imminent plans to go public.
The news that ByteDance could be on the brink of consolidating its gains with an IPO would be troubling news to some. Leaked audio from a Facebook Q&A with Mark Zuckerberg showed that he views TikTok as a threat, and multiple US politicians have voiced concerns about the app.
Senators Tim Cotton and Mark Schumer last week called for an investigation into whether TikTok poses a national security threat. Earlier this month Senator Marco Rubio also called for an investigation following a Guardian report that the app's moderation guidelines censor content that's overly critical of the Chinese state.