Triller, a short video app like TikTok recently announced they will be going public and this looks like a move to take advantage of the TikTok precarious position in the United States. TikTok is a popular Chinese app owned by ByteDance but the United States has made TikTok’s existence in the country very uncertain for “national security” reasons. The ban US enforced on TikTok also triggered other countries like Pakistan and the UK to ban TikTok downloads in their respective country even through both incidents are unrelated.
Although it’s been five years since Triller launched, it is yet to attain the number of users TikTok has in the US. While TikTok has about 500 million active users globally, Triller has about 65 million active users but that’s not deterring them from going forward with its ambitious move to go public as they see an opportunity should TikTok eventually get banned in the Unites States and indeed around the world.
A few days ago, before Triller announced to go public, the video app had been trying to raise capital from investors to finance the app. This also led to the series of meetings Triller Inc. has encountered with SPACs firms willing to negotiate for a potential merger deal.
The Special-Purpose Acquisition Company (SPAC) are companies with no marketable operation formed to raise capital via Initial Public Offering (IPO) aimed at owning or merging with an existing company which is likely to take over the stocks of the initial company. SPACs are like what you can call shell companies that go public to raise money with the aim of acquiring a company. This then makes a company like Triller to easily go public. Triller was in talks to raise a private fundraising round adding that it had raised $100 million at a valuation of $1.25 billion so far.
TikTok has sued the Trump administration over its ban or forced merger with a United States company and while the matter is still in court, the US government is still not clear on what exactly it would like to see with respect to TikTok’s operation in the country. They say Chinese tech companies including TikTok share data with the Chinese government citing the Chinese law that allows for the government to demand for data from any of its companies when it deemed it necessary. The Chinese government denied all allegations. TikTok is still yet to finalize the deal of sharing its ownership with the American companies Oracle and Walmart because ByteDance is reluctant to accept the deal the American government is offering. The matter has now been shifted to November when we expect get a clearer position from the American government.