TikTok owner ByteDance will offer investors a buyback offer for their shares worth around $5 billion of the company’s stock, according to a report.

The South China Morning Post broke the story on Wednesday (Dec.6) when the Chinese tech giant was valued at around $268 billion at the time of writing. The offer price for the shares is expected to be $160 each.

That was the same price offered to employees in November, in an initiative that was “aimed to provide liquidity options for staff through such programs”.

Sources close to the Post stated the $268 billion valuation was around 10% lower than last year when it rolled out a similar share buyback plan for investors.

Speculation on ByteDance IPO offering

This latest update comes as ByteDance continues to thrive, thanks to the popularity of TikTok as well as its Chinese equivalent, Douyin.

Founded by Zhang Yiming in 2012, the company has been described by the Financial Times as “one of the fastest-growing companies to emerge from China in recent years”.

On the back of this strength, there has been recent speculation on a ByteDance initial public offering (IPO) but any prospects of this have been hampered politically, with Beijing overseeing a regulatory crackdown as well as intense scrutiny applied in Washington.

The same FT source stated that a Hong Kong listing has been canceled several times recently whilst authorities in the US remain cold on further growth for TikTok.

ByteDance has confirmed that it is working on a new platform to enable users to create their artificial intelligence (AI) chatbots as it aims to push into the thriving sphere of generative AI.

However, it will also close down its gaming brand Nuverse and significantly scale back its video game operations, following an internal consultation.

A spokesperson for the parent company of TikTok told the media: “We regularly review our businesses and make adjustments to center on long-term strategic growth areas. Following a recent review, we’ve made the difficult decision to restructure our gaming business.”

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Graeme Hanna

Freelance Writer

Graeme Hanna is a full-time, freelance writer with significant experience in online news as well as content writing. Since January 2021, he has contributed as a football and news writer for several mainstream UK titles including The Glasgow Times, Rangers Review, Manchester Evening News, MyLondon, Give Me Sport, and the Belfast News Letter. Graeme has worked across several briefs including news and feature writing in addition to other significant work experience in professional services. Now a contributing news writer at ReadWrite.com, he is involved with pitching relevant content for publication as well as writing engaging tech news stories.