ByteDance, the parent company of TikTok and one of the largest social media giants in the world, is reportedly in discussions to raise a new round of funding. This funding round has the potential to value the company at an impressive $180 billion. Sources have revealed that ByteDance is engaging with its existing investors, including Sequoia Capital and General Atlantic, with the aim of raising around $2 billion.

It should be noted that these talks are still in the early stages and have not been made public. Therefore, the individuals involved have requested anonymity. This funding round, however, is not a pre-IPO round, indicating that ByteDance has yet to decide on taking its Chinese version of TikTok, called Douyin, public. There are two options under consideration: a standalone public listing for Douyin or a combined listing of its Chinese operations, which include Douyin and news aggregator Jinri Toutiao, in Hong Kong or Shanghai.

Although ByteDance has been exploring both possibilities, a final decision has not been reached. No comments have been provided by ByteDance or its potential investors, Sequoia Capital and General Atlantic, regarding the matter.

The timing of this funding round is notable as it coincides with increasing pressure from the US government for ByteDance to divest its US operations of TikTok. Concerns over national security have been raised, particularly regarding the potential access of personal data from TikTok’s 100 million American users by the Chinese government.

Negotiations are already underway involving major companies such as Walmart Inc and Oracle Corp to acquire stakes in a new company that would oversee TikTok’s US operations. ByteDance is currently working to finalize the details, including the selection of employees who will join the newly formed TikTok entity.

ByteDance’s valuation has experienced remarkable growth over the past couple of years. In 2018, the company was valued at $78 billion after its previous funding round. Earlier this year, ByteDance was valued at a staggering $140 billion in the secondary private equity market.

Despite the ongoing negotiations and potential divestments in the US, ByteDance continues to hold a significant position in the social media landscape. TikTok’s popularity continues to soar, and ByteDance is strategically positioning itself to maintain its dominance in the ever-evolving digital world.

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