TikTok is a social media platform that allows users to post short-form videos (5-30 seconds) of them singing, dancing, joking, pulling a prank, or whatever other trend is happening.
TikTok is privately owned entirely by ByteDance. That means, as of now, that there is no TikTok stock symbol. ByteDance may going public or selling part of the company, nothing has formally been announced yet.
Is TikTok on the Stock Market?
TikTok is currently owned by a private, Chinese company called ByteDance Limited. This means that there are currently no shares of a TikTok stock being sold on any stock market. However, ByteDance announced some plans for going public with an initial public offering (IPO) for some time now. But, no dates have been announced quite yet. The plan would require a pre-IPO funding round amounting to 20% of the company’s value. That means ByteDance will only own 80%. Two other companies – Walmart and Oracle – will own the rest.
Can I buy a TikTok Stock?
Although you cannot buy an individual TikTok stock, you can purchase stock in two companies that partially own TikTok. The pre-IPO plans for funding will sell 12.5% of TikTok to Oracle and 7.5% to Walmart.
Oracle: Oracle is set to purchase 12.5% of ByteDance Limited. They are a business software provider with quarterly revenue as high as $9 billion. With over $42 billion in cash and other short-term, liquid assets, Oracle is a highly successful company. They are publicly traded under the stock symbol ORCL.
Walmart: Walmart is set to acquire 7.5% of ByteDance. Although Walmart has had historic success in the realm of commerce, many big time investors are unsure about Walmart’s future given the incredible growth of online retail. However, with quarterly revenues still well over $100 billion, Walmart remains a giant. Access to TikTok’s customer data could make for a big change. Walmart is publicly traded under the stock symbol WMT.
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Why is TikTok so valuable?
TikTok uses advanced AI and algorithms to keep their app at the top of the charts. Many analysts consider their software to be a key reason behind their success and their high valuation. Many believe, too, that the software is the reason so many companies and investors want to get partial ownership of TikTok. Microsoft, in fact, tried to purchase TikTok’s North American operations in August 2020.
It is believed that TikTok has been able to access a gold mine of consumer data: what are people watching? Listening to? Talking about? When are they using? What are their purchasing habits? And so on…
The software also keeps users coming back for more. Over 90% of users claim they use the app daily. The average user is on the app for 52 minutes a day. With a retention rate of roughly 26%, TikTok is obviously an addictive social media app. It is no wonder so many investors want to get in on the action as early as possible.
Here are some crazy TikTok stats that you need to know:
- TikTok is the 7th most popular app behind Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, YouTube, Messenger, and WeChat. TikTok has over 2.6 Billion downloads.
- The app has roughly 100 million monthly active users in the United States, alone.
- There are nearly 800 million global active users of TikTok in the over 200 countries where TikTok is available.
- TikTok’s valuation fluctuates between $60 billion and $100 billion.
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The future of TikTok
TikTok’s technology is certainly among the most advanced for social media platforms. Chinese officials have indicated that they want to keep the technology secret. They have even hinted at blocking ByteDance’s ability to sell any part of the company to an American company.
This has also raised security concerns for several countries around the world. Former President Donald Trump entertained the idea of banning TikTok from the United States unless it was owned and operated by an American company. In June 2020, India completely banned the app for similar reasons.
However, ByteDance continues to move forward with their TikTok Global plans. Who gets access to and how that information is used in retail and social media technology remains to be seen.