Bytedance raises $1.3b loan from Wall Street

The logo for Beijing ByteDance Technology Co.'s Jinri Toutiao mobile app is displayed at the company's headquarters in Beijing, China, Photographer: Giulia Marchi/Bloomberg

Bytedance Ltd., China’s most valuable startup, has secured a $1.335 billion syndicated loan from a group dominated by Wall Street banks, according to people familiar with the matter.

Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. led the deal alongside Bank of China Ltd. and CMB Wing Lung Bank Ltd., said the people who are not authorized to speak publicly and asked not to be identified. Bytedance, which operates the hugely popular apps TikTok and its Chinese counterpart Douyin, declined to comment on the loan.

The deal marks Bytedance’s debut in the syndicated loan market and underscores its growing clout in attracting some of the biggest international lenders. Late last year, the company got a $3 billion funding from SoftBank Group Corp. and other major investors at a valuation of $75 billion, cementing its position as the world’s biggest privately backed startup.

TikTok and Douyin are two of the fastest-growing apps in the world, and rely on users recording clips typically set to music. The TikTok app has been installed more than 1 billion times via the App Store and Google Play, according to Sensor Tower.

The deal is also a rare case of a young startup winning a loan of this size from Asia’s syndicated loan market, where banks are typically more comfortable with lending to mature brick-and-mortar companies.

Other top-tier lenders for the syndicated loan include Bank of America Corp., Barclays Plc, Citigroup Inc., HSBC Holdings Plc, JPMorgan Chase & Co. and UBS Group AG, the people said. China Everbright Bank Co. and China Merchants Bank Co. also joined.

The owner of Chinese news aggregator Toutiao offered an interest margin of 280 basis points on top of the London interbank offered rate for its debut syndicated loan, the people added.

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Bloomberg

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

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Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.