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TikTok Owner ByteDance Aims to Build Global Reach Before IPO

  • ByteDance has to deal with the lack of a Chinese news license
  • The social media phenom is grappling with rising U.S. scrutiny
Inside TikTok Creator's Lab Event
Photographer: Shiho Fukada/Bloomberg
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TikTok owner ByteDance Inc. is focused on hiring staff to beef up its international operations before considering an initial public offering in the U.S. or Hong Kong over the longer term, according to people familiar with the matter.

The world’s most valuable startup is still only at the very early stages of exploring a share sale abroad, the people said. Any float remains a long-term objective given ByteDance first needs to hire a chief financial officer and remains well-funded, the people said, asking not to be named because the matter is private. On Tuesday, the company publicly denied a Financial Times report that it planned a Hong Kong IPO in the first quarter.