Earlier this year, ByteDance revealed that its revenues more than doubled to $34.3bn in 2020, although it also recorded an operating loss of $2.1bn. Now Reuters claims that ByteDance is “in talks with Wall Street banks to borrow more than $3 billion to refinance its debt”.
Rather than a sign of weakness, the report suggested that that it is a plan to “take advantage of currently low interest rates to repay its debt”. The $3bn figure may not be set in stone: Bloomberg claimed it may be $4bn, while The Information suggested it could go as high as $5bn.
All this is happening at a point where ByteDance had been previously tipped to be going public via an IPO. That appears to be on the back burner for now, at an uncertain time for all of China’s big technology companies with the government there coming down on them hard with various new regulations.
In August, the Chinese government took a minority stake and board seat in ByteDance’s main subsidiary in China.