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China technology

China’s ByteDance to raise about US$1.45 billion for its venture fund

  • The world’s most valuable start-up is in talks with investors including major Chinese government-led funds and state-owned investment banks
PUBLISHED : Friday, 07 December, 2018, 8:38pm
UPDATED : Friday, 07 December, 2018, 8:38pm

ByteDance, the world’s most valuable start-up, is in talks to raise about US$1.45 billion to invest in artificial intelligence and media content, according to a report by The Information on Friday.

The Beijing-based company, which runs news aggregation site Jinri Toutiao and video app Douyin (known as Tik Tok outside mainland China), is in talks with investors including major Chinese government-led funds and state-owned investment banks, the report said.

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ByteDance said it had no comment to offer on the matter.

The company’s latest fundraising initiative comes after its reported completion of a US$3 billion funding round that put the value of the start-up as high as US$75 billion, more than ride-hailing service provider Uber Technologies at US$72 billion.

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Building closer relationships with state-backed investors could be beneficial for ByteDance, whose apps in China have run afoul of the country’s regulators, The Information said.

The company had faced mounting scrutiny from China’s internet censors earlier this year, with Jinri Toutiao temporarily taken off app stores for a clean-up in April, while a separate app for jokes was permanently shut.