ByteDance does not plan to go public

According to a report by LatePost, on August 31, Beijing-based technology company ByteDance held an All Hands staff meeting. Liang Rubo, Chairman and CEO of ByteDance, Zhang Lidong, Chairman of Douyin Group, Kelly Zhang, CEO of Douyin Group, Shou Zi Chew, CEO of TikTok, Hua Wei, Human Resources Manager of ByteDance, and other senior executives communicated with the company’s employees by videoconference. During the more than hour-long event, management addressed many of the issues and challenges that ByteDance is currently facing.

Financial Director Julie Gao was also present at the event. In April 2022, Gao, a senior partner at international law firm Skadden, joined ByteDance as its new Chief Financial Officer (CFO). Its arrival was seen by the wider market at that time as a signal that ByteDance was preparing to go public. Subsequently, Bytedance (HK) Limited changed its name to Douyin Group (HK) Limited, and Beijing ByteDance Technology Co., Ltd. was renamed Beijing Douyin Information Service Co., Ltd. These moves were again speculated by the market as an early adjustment for the company’s Hong Kong IPO.

SEE ALSO: ByteDance’s Douyin Group Creates New Company ‘Toutiao’, Adding to IPO Rumors

Julie Gao, CFO of ByteDance (Source: Skadden)

At the All-Hands meeting, Gao responded to this market rumor by saying, “The company does not have a specific entry plan or timeline at this time.” Since Gao joined ByteDance, she has focused on understanding the company’s business, culture, finances, and people, meeting colleagues, users, and shareholders, and being “proud of the company’s products. ‘company”.

Liang Rubo said that many companies in ByteDance have failed to meet expectations over the past year and therefore the company will increase investment in key projects while reducing investment in non-core projects. He also reflected on the plethora of organizations. “(Companies) may not see any problems solved by just adding people, only made worse.” Liang also said ByteDance does not have a large-scale layoff plan at this time. It will put forward higher requirements for recruiting new employees and employee performance. However, as LatePost has learned, some of ByteDance’s business teams have planned to carry out small-scale layoffs.

Liang Rubo, co-founder and CEO of ByteDance (Source: Source Code Capital)

Zhang Lidong responded to the uncertainty regarding the current economic environment, saying that compared to its competitors and other companies in the industry, ByteDance’s core business has still seen a very strong increase in users and of income. He also said he was optimistic about the future of TikTok, e-commerce in general, and Feishu (also known as Lark), all of which offer great opportunities. Zhang said TikTok still has room to grow as ByteDance’s e-commerce business is still in its infancy, and its operations in China and Southeast Asian countries have just ended. a cold start. According to LatePost, however, in 2021, Douyin E-Commerce’s paid GMV (gross merchandise volume) was more than 700 billion yuan ($101.4 billion), making it the leading e-commerce platform. fastest growing in China.

The day before the Aug. 31 event, ByteDance lowered its options price to $155 per share from $195 per share previously, and also issued an options issue. Hua Wei, Human Resources Manager of ByteDance, responded to this question during the meeting, saying that “the downward adjustment in the value of the grant is due to the company judging the environment at the ‘future will fluctuate and hope to keep the valuation stable; On the other hand, colleagues who receive options in the future will also have more room for added value. »

Shou Zi Chew, CEO of TikTok, told the meeting that as a young global company, one of ByteDance’s top priorities right now is to “earn trust”. He thinks the process of gaining trust will be very long and there is no shortcut, but losing trust is a matter of a moment. Chew also used the word “crisis” to describe the current state of TikTok, adding “there are opportunities at risk.”

In terms of global cooperation, Shou Zi Chew said the company had problems with coordinating teams across time zones and regions, but still encouraged employees to travel and meet each other.

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