TikTok's Parent Company Seeks Funding at $180 Billion Valuation

New valuation would make Bytedance worth more than Twitter, Snapchat and Square combined

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Bytedance, TikTok’s Beijing-based parent company, is looking to raise $2 billion at a $180 billion valuation, Bloomberg reported on Thursday morning. The new funding would come as TikTok’s future in the U.S. hangs in the balance, as it waits to hear if a deal for Oracle to become its “trusted technology partner” in the States is approved by government officials.

The new funding would also come as Bytedance is looking to take some of its businesses public in Hong Kong, Bloomberg said. A $180 billion valuation would come in about $40 billion higher than where the company currently stands and make the company more valuable than Twitter, Snapchat and Square Inc. combined.

TikTok has about 100 million active users in the U.S., but the company has been under the regulatory microscope for the last few months. Over the summer, President Trump signed an executive order banning the app unless its U.S. operations were sold to an American business.  The president pointed to “credible evidence” TikTok poses a national security threat due to its data collection policies.

Despite TikTok’s popularity, critics have grown increasingly concerned the app doubles as a data collection tool for China’s communist government. TikTok has denied ever sharing user data with Chinese authorities. But Stratechery’s Ben Thompson recently pointed out TikTok’s privacy policy explicitly says it “may share” user information “with a parent, subsidiary, or other affiliate of our corporate group,” which, based on how companies operate in China, means data can be sent to government authorities.

TikTok reached a deal with Oracle to take over the app’s U.S. operations in September, but the deal remains in regulatory limbo as of early November. One condition of the deal is that TikTok’s U.S. business would file for an IPO within its first year; as TheWrap reported in September, TikTok Global, the offshoot of TikTok that would be formed if Oracle’s bid for the app’s American business is approved, would look to go public in 2021.

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