ByteDance’s first quarter revenue said to have soared to around $5.6b

FILE PHOTO: A person holds a smartphone as Tik Tok logo is displayed behind in this picture illustration taken November 7, 2019. Picture taken November 7, 2019. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo

Beijing-based ByteDance, the privately owned operator of short video app TikTok, booked around 40 billion yuan ($5.64 billion) in revenue for the January-March quarter, said two people with knowledge of the matter.

The figure represents growth of more than 130% compared with the same period a year earlier, said one of the people, who declined to be identified as the matter is private.

ByteDance has set a 2020 revenue target of about 200 billion yuan, the other person said. The first person said ByteDance aims to reach revenue half that of rival Tencent Holdings Ltd.

Tencent, China’s leading social media and gaming firm, reported revenue of nearly 377 billion yuan in 2019.

ByteDance declined to comment.

The growth shows the extent to which eight-year-old ByteDance is capturing digital advertising spend. The bulk of the company’s revenue is mainly from advertising on its apps in China including news aggregator Jinri Toutiao as well as Douyin, its domestic version of TikTok, the people said, rather than from TikTok itself.

Before ByteDance emerged, China’s ad market had been mainly dominated by e-commerce leader Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, search engine operator Baidu Inc and Tencent.

The market grew 1.9% in January-March from the same period a year earlier to be worth 121.2 billion yuan, showed data from iResearch.

ByteDance‘s apps enjoyed a huge boost in usage at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic as containment measures saw people practicing social distancing and staying at home. In January, six of the 10 most popular apps on China’s iOS App Store were owned by ByteDance, according to app performance tracker App Annie.

ByteDance has recently been valued at $95 billion to $140 billion in the market for private secondary trading, two people told Reuters.

The firm is trying to grow and monetise TikTok and last month named Walt Disney Co’s former top streaming executive, Kevin Mayer, as TikTok‘s new chief executive.

Reuters

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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).

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  • 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.