TikTok owner moving to bigger Singapore office

The Chinese tech firm's move in Singapore coincides with other tech giants' plans.
The Chinese tech firm's move in Singapore coincides with other tech giants' plans.PHOTO: AFP

ByteDance, the Chinese owner of video app TikTok, is moving to a bigger office in Singapore's financial district, paving the way for it to make the city-state its beachhead for the rest of Asia. It has signed an agreement to lease three floors measuring over 60,000 sq ft at One Raffles Quay, according to people familiar with the plan.

ByteDance's office expansion will help the world's most richly valued start-up to anchor itself in Singapore, where it plans to invest several billion dollars. The move will support the company's hiring spree, as it plans to add hundreds of jobs over the next three years in the city state, the people have said.

Controlled by billionaire Zhang Yiming, the firm is pushing its social media service across Asia following setbacks in India, Britain and the United States, where Chinese tech companies are facing growing hostility amid security concerns.

The new office is being refurbished and it is likely that employees will move in by the first quarter of next year and will be informed about it later this month or next month, the people said. A ByteDance representative declined to comment.

The Chinese tech firm's move in Singapore coincides with other tech giants' plans. Amazon is set to move to a larger office space in the city's financial district. Tencent Holdings is also setting up a regional headquarters in the country.

Singapore is seen as an attractive base for both Western and Asian firms because of its political stability and developed financial and legal system, especially as its rival Hong Kong is still grappling with upheaval and China's tightening grip.

ByteDance's move to One Raffles Quay - which is jointly owned by Hong Kong Land Holdings, Keppel Reit and Suntec Reit - will be a boost to the office building since its anchor tenant UBS Group is moving out, having secured another office space to consolidate its operations in Singapore.

ByteDance now has a shared space on one of the floors in Asia Square Tower 1, which is owned by Qatar's sovereign wealth fund.

The tech firm currently has more than 200 job openings in Singapore, for positions from data analyst to product policy and legal counsel. Some of the positions are based in the city but will deal with issues in other South-east Asian countries, according to its career site.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 16, 2020, with the headline 'TikTok owner moving to bigger Singapore office'. Print Edition | Subscribe