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ByteDance indefinitely postpones IPO over data security concerns

ByteDance, the Chinese owner of TikTok, has indefinitely put its initial public offering (IPO) plans on hold after the country’s regulators warned the company of data security risks.

The firm made the decision to postpone the initial public offering in late March following the recommendations from the Chinese cyberspace and securities regulators to focus on addressing data-security risks before listing offshore, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported, citing sources.

The Chinese social media giant has been considering an IPO of all or some of its businesses in the United States or Hong Kong for some time now.

ByteDance also had other reasons for delaying the listing, including not having a chief financial officer at the time, the journal said.

According to the WSJ, ByteDance became one of 13 internet companies asked by the Chinese government to adhere to much stricter data regulation and lending practices.

Observers are saying that given the current situation, more Chinese firms that intend to list in the US would have a second thought amid the country’s tightening security on data protection.

Other experts believe that the review is another example of Beijing’s crackdown on influential IT giants. Last week, China’s State Administration for Market Regulation (SMAR) handed fines to the country’s internet giants, including Tencent, Alibaba and Didi Chuxing, after probing 22 cases of illegal operations in the internet sector.

The market regulator had said that all the cases are violations of the country’s anti-monopoly law, and the companies involved have been fined about USD 77,206 for each case, Global Times reported. ANI


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