💥 Chinese tech companies go public at the risk of angering China
The hottest tech companies in China are pondering how to go public -- and not anger their government.
ByteDance just decided to postpone its IPO: The parent company of TikTok, which would have had one of the most hyped IPOs of the year, has bypassed hitting the stock market for an indefinite period of time. This isn’t about getting its finances straight: The WSJ reports that China wanted ByteDance to get its data security strategy in order.
This was likely more of a de facto demand than a request: The Chinese government warned Didi, China’s version of Uber, to improve its security, too, and Didi decided to go ahead with a U.S. public listing. China’s internet regulator has since opened a security investigation and removed Didi from Chinese app stores.
Chinese and American pressure
ByteDance has had issues before, with the Chinese government shutting down another one of its apps for vulgar content in 2018. And, of course, the Trump administration threatened to take TikTok out of American app stores over an entirely different kind of security concern -- that its owners would share data with China.
Security problems can always be an issue, but this appears to be as much about Chinese-American relations as anything else.