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TikTok owner discussing China IPO - sources

Short-video sharing could be worth 100 billion dollars or more.

Reuters sources say that is the valuation TikTok owner ByteDance has in mind just for its Chinese operations as it mulls how to sell shares.

The sources say the Beijing-based firm could list its domestic business in Hong Kong or Shanghai.

Shares in its overseas operations, including TikTok, could then be sold in Europe or the U.S.

ByteDance had wanted to list all its operations in one blockbuster deal, possibly in New York.

But those plans have been sunk by growing U.S. suspicions over TikTok.

Regulators there have talked about banning the app, or forcing ByteDance to sell it.

That’s over suspicions Beijing could force its owner to hand over data on U.S. users.

Instead Reuters sources say the firm is talking to Chinese exchanges over a listing for its domestic operations.

And the 100 billion dollar figure isn’t without foundation.

ByteDance as a whole was valued at about 140 billion dollars earlier this year, when shareholder Cheetah Mobile sold a small stake.

The sources say the new plans are at an early stage, and could change.

They could also be complicated by some heavyweight ByteDance investors, who want to take over TikTok at a valuation of 50 billion dollars.

Neither ByteDance nor the exchanges would comment on Friday’s (July 31) reports.