ByteDance faces tough sell abroad in bid to commercialise TikTok

TikTok currently accounts for nearly half of ByteDance's valuation. PHOTO: REUTERS
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BEIJING (CAIXIN GLOBAL) - Having captured the gaze of hundreds of millions of people with its short-video platform TikTok, parent company ByteDance is now the focus of attention as it struggles to commercialise the platform and finally turn a profit amid tightened regulations and rising US-China tensions.

The company's growth, bolstered by advertising revenue in China that last year surpassed 200 billion yuan (S$40.3 billion) - more than double that of Tencent Holdings Ltd. and second only to Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.'s 316.4 billion yuan - is now facing headwinds both at home and abroad. Beijing's year-long crackdown on what is sees as a wayward tech sector and Washington's heightened scrutiny and restrictions on Chinese businesses due to their perceived national security risk are taking their toll.

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