Tech group that made TikTok now targets digital finance

Tech group that made TikTok now targets digital finance
  • ByteDance, the company behind TikTok, now plans to start offering banking services.
  • Before it can do so, the firm needs to obtain one of five licenses that Singapore will issue in 2020.
  • With many other tech giants bidding for such licenses, the competition will be tough.

A multinational tech group ByteDance, based in Beijing, recently developed plans to get into digital finance. The company that created TikTok now wishes to add banking to its selection of services and products.

According to a recent report, the company is currently trying to obtain a digital banking license in Singapore.

ByteDance needs a banking license first

With this move, ByteDance will get in direct competition with a number of other tech giants from the Asian region. Among them are Alibaba’s Ant Financial and electronic leader Xiaomi, which also aim to obtain one of the virtual banking licenses.

Singapore’s monetary authority only plans to issue five such licenses by the end of the year, which means that each of these firms will do all in their power to be among the chosen.

The report also cited an unnamed source familiar with the situation. The source revealed that the firm has applied for one of the three wholesale bank licenses. This indicates that the license might be limited to only serving corporate clients, as well as small and medium enterprises.

ByteDance needs allies to improve its chances

ByteDance is a major firm, which was valued at $75 billion. In the secondary market, it performs even higher.

There were some claims that said that the firm might have plans to join forces with one of Singapore’s most influential corporate families, the Lees.  The family also owns the Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation.

Such an alliance would significantly increase the company’s chances of winning the license it needs, as the report notes. However, it is all still mostly speculation, as there was no official announcement from ByteDance at this time.

For now, it is known that ByteDance doesn’t offer banking services in China. Most virtual financial services are offered by Alibaba’s AliPay and Tencent’s WeChat. It was also mentioned that ByteDance planned to apply for a license in Hong Kong. Another rumor claimed that the company considered taking the e-commerce services road. For now, nothing is confirmed by the firm’s officials, although any such development would certainly be of great benefit to the firm.

By Ali Raza
A journalist, with experience in web journalism and marketing. Ali holds a master's degree in finance and enjoys writing about cryptocurrencies and fintech. Ali’s work has been published on a number of cryptocurrency publications. Raza is the co-founder of 5Gist.com, too, a site dedicated to educating people on 5G technology.
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