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ByteDance, the parent company of both TikTok and Douyin, is taking steps to motivate its workforce and boost morale with a new share buyback proposal. Highlighting the firm’s confidence in its future, the company has reportedly offered to repurchase employee-held shares at a slightly higher price than a prior buyback.

Key points:

  • Buyback Details? ByteDance is offering to buy back shares at $160 each, a 3% increase from the $155 offered during the previous buyback seven months ago. Details came from an internal email sent to staff, according to an anonymous source.
  • Buyback Goals? A spokesperson for ByteDance confirmed the plan but did not provide added details. The move’s primary aim is to provide liquidity and motivate the firm’s employees.
  • Why Now? ByteDance, once a highly sought-after business by global investors, is now joining other Chinese internet companies that are working to boost market confidence and retain their talent.
  • Since When? The company has been running buyback programs twice a year since 2017, available to both current and former employees.
  • Current Competitors? With its disruptive short-video platforms, TikTok and Douyin, ByteDance has made significant inroads into international internet and social media markets. Leading platforms like YouTube, Instagram, and WeChat have all responded by launching similar short-video services.
  • Valuation? The current valuation of ByteDance remains uncertain. During the pandemic, startup valuations saw a significant decrease. However, in 2022, ByteDance offered to buy back shares at about a $300B valuation.

ByteDance has been contemplating taking TikTok public for several years and considered a separate IPO for Douyin and its Chinese operations in Hong Kong. However, regulatory scrutiny and volatile market conditions have repeatedly delayed these plans.

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