It is reported that Twitter has held preliminary negotiations on a possible merger with tiktoks US business. It is not clear whether twitter will seek to push the deal, which, given the size of the social media company, will face significant challenges and will almost certainly require the help of other investors.
Several investment companies with links to Twitter or the parent company of tiktok may also play a role in deals involving twitter or Microsoft, people familiar with the matter said. Among them are venture capital giant sequoia capital, whose Chinese subsidiary invested in byte hopping for the first time in 2014.
According to people familiar with the matter, Sequoia now holds shares with a byte jump of slightly more than 10%, which are worth more than $10 billion based on transaction valuations in the secondary market. On this basis, the investment will be among the most successful venture capital deals ever made.
Doug Leone, Sequoias global managing partner, has been pressuring government contacts in recent weeks, including Treasury Secretary Steven mnuchin and white house senior adviser Jared Kushner, to develop solutions that will allow tiktok to continue operating in the US, people familiar with the matter said.
Given the importance of tiktok to Chinas parent company, byte hopping shareholders are at great risk, and investors have valued tiktok at more than $100 billion this year. Other investors include general Atlantic, a private equity firm, and Softbank, a Japanese investment giant.
Softbank itself also wants to compete as a potential bidder for tiktok, according to a person familiar with the matter. However, as a foreign company, the possibility of successful bidding is still very small. General Atlantic and Softbank declined to comment.
According to a person familiar with the bidding situation, some investors in byte jump have made an offer earlier, valuing tiktok as a whole more than $30 billion. It is not clear whether other potential investors are involved in the US business.
Because of its much smaller size, Twitters acquisition is unlikely to face the same level of antitrust scrutiny as Microsoft or other potential bidders, people familiar with the matter said. Still, Twitters chances of success are slim, and other investors are absolutely needed.
Compared with other large technology companies, the company has much less financial resources. Twitter has continued to make profits in the past few years, but reported a loss of $1.23 billion in the latest quarter, with cash and short-term investments of $7.8 billion.
But twitter does have strong investors, such as private equity firm Silver Lake, which invested $1 billion in the instant messaging platform in March and a series of other large-scale investments during the new outbreak to support major technology brands.
Lyon told reporters that he would continue to contact mnuchin and Kushner to see how tiktok could be saved. William Ford, the chief executive of general Atlantic, also lobbied for changes, a person familiar with the matter said. (small)
Source: Wang Fengzhi, editor in charge of Netease science and Technology Report_ NT2541