Almost everyone has heard of TikTok, the social media app that has taken the world by storm since 2016. But with all the talk about TikTok, one question remains: who owns TikTok? This article will answer that question and update you on what’s been happening with TikTok recently.
Background on TikTok
TikTok is a social media app that allows users to create and share short videos. It is currently free on the Apple App Store and has become particularly popular among younger demographics. With over 2.6 billion downloads worldwide, including 210 million in the United States, TikTok has solidified itself as a global phenomenon.
TikTok is owned by the Chinese company ByteDance and is available in more than 150 countries. It remains a popular platform for content creators and audiences alike and continues to grow in popularity and reach.
Thanks to its broad global audience and easy-to-use interface, TikTok offers a unique opportunity for creators to connect with a diverse range of viewers. For many users, TikTok is a fun and entertaining way to spend time online.
How has TikTok ownership changed over the years?
The ownership of TikTok has seen significant changes in recent years. In 2014, the Chinese app Musical.ly, which had similar features to TikTok, was launched. By 2017, Musical.ly became one of the most popular apps globally and was subsequently acquired by ByteDance for approximately $1 billion.
ByteDance merged TikTok with Musical.ly, which propelled TikTok’s global reach and expanded its user base significantly.
Who currently owns TikTok?
TikTok is currently owned by ByteDance, a private company headquartered in Beijing. ByteDance was founded in 2012 and has since become a powerhouse in the tech industry.
ByteDance’s former CEO, Zhang Yiming, started the company from his apartment in Beijing. Today, ByteDance is valued at an estimated $300 billion as of September 2022.
Besides TikTok, ByteDance operates multiple apps globally, including Helo (an Indian social media platform) and Vigo Video. The company has also partnered with Oracle Cloud to store user data in the United States.
While ByteDance is primarily recognized for its investments in the social media space, the company also has interests in news, gaming, education, and even healthcare. In 2022, ByteDance’s healthcare offshoot, Xiaohe Health, made a bold move by purchasing a chain of luxury Chinese hospitals for $1.5 billion, diversifying ByteDance’s assets further.
ByteDance’s presence extends beyond social media, as the company owns and operates Toutiao, a Chinese app delivering personalized news to its Chinese users.
ByteDance has also collaborated with various nonprofit organizations, including the World Wildlife Fund, GiveIndia, the British Olympics, and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, showcasing its commitment to social responsibility.
Does Tencent own TikTok?
Tencent Holdings, a Chinese multinational conglomerate, is an investor in ByteDance but does not have majority ownership or control over TikTok. Although Tencent has sued ByteDance over its news and content aggregation platform Toutiao, it has significantly influenced the company through substantial investments in recent years.
Tencent has made investments in several social media platforms and startups worldwide, including Snapchat, Reddit, Pinterest, and Flipkart. The company also owns WeChat, a popular social media platform with over a billion users globally. Tencent’s vested interest in social media platforms positions it as a key player in both domestic and international markets.
Where are TikTok’s global offices in 2023?
As TikTok continues to expand its global presence, it maintains offices in various locations worldwide. These offices reflect TikTok’s commitment to creating an international platform for users and advertisers. In 2023, TikTok’s global offices include Los Angeles, New York, London, Paris, Berlin, Dubai, Mumbai, Singapore, Jakarta, Seoul, and Tokyo.
By having offices worldwide, TikTok stays on top of the latest trends, ensuring it remains ahead of the competition in the ever-changing digital landscape. These global offices equip the company to provide engaging content and drive market growth.
TikTok has also expressed its intention to open more offices in new locations in the coming years. Expanding its presence globally allows TikTok to offer localized content and experiences, tailoring them to the specific needs of its diverse user base.
What caused the booming popularity of TikTok?
TikTok’s meteoric rise in popularity stems from several factors. First and foremost, its user-friendly interface and vast array of content creation tools make it accessible to anyone, regardless of experience or technical know-how. Consequently, the platform has attracted an incredibly diverse group of users spanning different age groups, countries, and social backgrounds.
Secondly, TikTok’s sophisticated algorithms swiftly identify popular trends, ensuring users can discover new content effortlessly. This has made the platform increasingly appealing to professional influencers and casual users alike, who seek to explore the latest viral videos.
Lastly, the sheer amount of content posted by TikTok users has fueled its continuous improvement and addition of new features. As a result, users remain engaged, leading to rapid growth in the platform’s user base.
TikTok statistics to know
As we enter 2023, TikTok continues to be one of the leading social media platforms. Here are some interesting TikTok statistics worth knowing:
- TikTok has over 1.5 billion active users worldwide, with one of the biggest audiences in Indonesia.
- It was the top-grossing mobile app of the previous year.
- On average, users spend 95 minutes per day on TikTok.
- TikTok accumulates over 1 billion video views daily, surpassing platforms like Buzzfeed and YouTube.
- The majority of users, 54 percent, fall between the ages of 16 and 24.
- Sixty percent of TikTok’s user base belongs to Generation Z.
Can the public purchase shares of TikTok?
At present, the public cannot directly purchase shares of TikTok. ByteDance has no immediate plans to make TikTok publicly available. However, rumors suggest that ByteDance might consider an initial public offering (IPO) in the United States, although this remains unconfirmed.
If you wish to invest in TikTok, your best option is to acquire shares of ByteDance. However, keep in mind that ByteDance operates multiple businesses and apps beyond TikTok. Significant developments related to TikTok may have unpredictable effects on the company’s stock price.
Alternatively, you can invest in funds associated with TikTok. For instance, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR) recently launched the KKR Global Internet Titans Fund, which includes investments in ByteDance, Facebook, and other related companies.
Venture capital funds focusing on tech startups, including TikTok, also present investment opportunities. It is essential to conduct thorough research before investing in any fund or stock to ensure it aligns with your financial goals.
Now you know who owns TikTok. What Next?
So, who owns TikTok? The answer is more complex than you may think. TikTok is owned by its parent company, ByteDance. While the Chinese government does not directly own the social media platform, it may have indirect influence over its operations.
Keep in mind that shares of TikTok are not available to the public. However, you can invest in ByteDance, the parent company.
If you’re looking for more helpful content, explore Entrepreneur’s Science & Technology articles here.
Remember, TikTok’s popularity continues to soar, captivating audiences worldwide with its unique and engaging content. As the digital media landscape evolves, TikTok remains at the forefront of innovation and entertainment.