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TikTok Stock: IPOs, Prices & Valuations

By Will Ellis
Last Updated on January 3, 2024

Generally speaking, the fact that social media and the stock market are becoming a little bit more intertwined now than they ever have been is actually giving way to pretty significant investment opportunities for those who can spot them.

As we move into 2024, you can’t think of the term ‘social media’ and not also think of TikTok, as it’s a platform that’s firmly cemented itself in the public (and most people’s phones, too).

Still, as far as relatively seasoned and even novice investors are concerned, the main point of interest here is whether TikTok has had any kind of foray into the stock market.

So, throughout this article, we’re going to be breaking down all you need to know regarding TikTok and what stage of progression they’re currently in regarding their IPO journey, ultimately helping you learn a little bit about the company that owns TikTok and what role they play in this.

Table of Contents:

ByteDance: From Private to Public ➡️

To kick things off, let’s provide a little bit of background information about the parent company of TikTok, which is a Chinese company called ByteDance. Before TikTok became the massive household name across the world that it is today, it operated as a privately held company, and this is actually the exact same business structure model that it follows today.

Now, it’s crucial to note at this point that private companies, as opposed to publicly traded ones, which you might be more familiar with, aren’t listed on any of the stock exchanges, and this means that you’re not able to invest in them or add them to your portfolio in any kind of way.

Instead, it’s a select group of individuals or even private equity firms that hold all of TikTok’s shares — not the public.

Still, with just how successful ByteDance has been in the Chinese market and globally, the company has obviously attracted the attention of a lot of investors and the financial community at large.

As the company kept growing in valuation, plenty of discussions online about taking ByteDance public began to surface, but crucially, this has yet to happen.

TikTok IPO: A Move Towards Publicly Traded Status ➡️

Put simply, whenever a company offers their shares to the public for the first time instead of strictly employees, this is known in the financial landscape as going public or just having an initial public offering (IPO).

Now, in terms of why a company would actually want to do this in the first place, the decision is usually down to a few different reasons, and it’s never a light decision.

For instance, things such as the increasing need for additional capital to fuel any growth within the company, establish some kind of market valuation for the company, or even just provide more liquidity for the shareholders are all very common reasons for going public.

TikTok’s IPO Journey

As touched on previously in the article, TikTok has not yet undergone any kind of plans for an IPO — meaning you’re unable to invest in TikTok like you might any other kind of social media company, such as Meta.

Having said that, the general prospect of TikTok going public is definitely not out of the question, and it’s more than likely that ByteDance is just waiting for the right moment regarding political tensions with the United States, for example, before going official and undergoing an IPO.

Aside from that, you’re also technically still getting involved in TikTok’s growth (and therefore success) by owning the shares of all the private equity companies that are already shareholders of the social media app — ByteDance themselves, for example.

So, just make sure you’re keeping a close eye on any official announcements posted by ByteDance regarding what plans they have for an IPO, as that’s generally the only reliable place you’re going to get definitive, new information.

TikTok Stock Symbol: Decoding Tickers and Trading ➡️

As with every company, once they finally go public, there’ll be a stock symbol that TikTok will have assigned to them, also commonly referred to as a ticker symbol, and this is basically just a shorthand way of identifying any given company’s shares in the stock market.

This shouldn’t be a particularly unfamiliar concept if you’ve been involved in the stock market for longer than five minutes, and you’re normally able to recognise a business pretty quickly based on their name — GOOGL or AMZN being some obviously identifiable examples, for instance.

So, once the company’s shares are finally listed and can be traded by anyone, you’ll find them on a stock exchange such as the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).

For any of the newcomers to investing currently reading this article, the NYSE is generally considered as one of the most renowned stock exchanges there is in the world, and you can be pretty sure that while TikTok continues to explore the possibility of an IPO, discussions about whether it would be listed on the NYSE or another stock exchange are fairly inevitable.

The Search for TikTok’s Ticker

As of now, while TikTok is, of course, still privately held, they don’t have any kind of publicly disclosed stock symbol. As such, you’re not going to be able to find a shorthand version of TikTok on a trading platform like eToro any time soon.

Of course, the company’s ticker symbol will be announced immediately after its IPO comes, so any investors or general enthusiasts will be able to find out soon enough.

TikTok Stock Price and Potential Valuation

Given just how popular TikTok has gotten over the past few years and the size of its user base now, any potential kind of valuation would just be pure speculation — you’d never really be able to assign a set value on the company without it first being public.

Having said that, there are still a few different things you can do when trying to value a company — starting with slightly more obvious metrics like how it’s been performing financially and what kind of growth prospects they have.

Naturally, it’s the seasoned financial analysts who are able to do this properly, but any other kind of retail investor that’s been eyeing an opportunity to buy TikTok stock will generally need to keep tabs on these aspects, too, so you can make a much more informed investment decision.

Investing Involves Risk: A Reminder for Novice Investors

To round the article off, it’s worth ending on a note that if you’re investing in literally any publicly traded company — even including one as buzzworthy as TikTok if they move away from being a privately owned company and go public — it involves a pretty great deal of risk, and that’s not just for the novice investors who are generally a little less experienced when it comes to trading.

If you have any level of experience trading financial assets — whether they’re stocks, cryptocurrency, options, or even CFDs — you know you’re getting into an inherently volatile market, and the price of any given stock can massively change at any given moment based on a range of different factors, from industry trends to more company-specific factors.

In the case of TikTok, for instance, while not a publicly traded company just yet (as made clear in the article thus far), their hypothetical stock price could plummet massively if, say, the United States want to explore further restrictions on the app due to privacy or national security concerns regarding China.

Of course, geopolitics can play a role in the stock price of any company, but a leading global investment firm like ByteDance would definitely take a hit if TikTok were to get banned in countries where they’ve currently been seeing a huge amount of success — Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States, for example.

As such, and this goes for any financial asset you’re thinking of trading, you just need to approach investing with a huge amount of caution. If you’re a new retail trader, in particular, who needs a little bit of help getting started and gaining confidence, it can help you stay well-researched and perhaps even consider getting in touch with a financial advisor.

FAQs 🔎️

How Can Investors Stay Informed About IPO Progress — Is TikTok Publicly Traded Yet?

Generally speaking, the best place you’ll be able to find in terms of progress updates will always be directly through whatever official announcements ByteDance releases. Aside from this, though, financial news sources and regulatory filings can also help, as well as keeping up with some reputable financial analysts on social media so you can stay ahead of the curve.

Can TikTok’s IPO Impact Its Content and Platform Policies?

While IPOs tend to focus solely on financial aspects, all of the extra scrutiny that comes with being a publicly traded company can definitely still have an influence on some of TikTok’s content and platform policies — making it essential for them to strike some sort of balance balance between user engagement and being compliant with all the relevant regulations.

How Might Geopolitical Factors Influence TikTok’s IPO Timeline?

Whether it’s things like trade tensions or even just changes to certain regulations, there are definitely a few geopolitical considerations that can have an impact on how soon you’ll be able to invest in the Chinese company. TikTok’s parent company will most likely need to think pretty carefully about the current geopolitical landscape so they can enter the public markets smoothly.

Will TikTok’s IPO Bring Changes to Its Leadership Team?

The overall IPO process has been known to lead to a few changes within a company’s leadership structure, and this is mainly just due to the status of being a publicly traded entity requiring additional roles in management. It’s hard to say if TikTok will undergo the same kind of shift, but it wouldn’t be uncommon at all if they were to do so.

How Does TikTok’s Potential Listing Impact the Broader Tech Sector?

If TikTok are officially listed as a public company, this can definitely have other kinds of ripple effects across the sector at large, potentially even setting precedents for other tech companies who might be considering going public — allowing them follow in TikTok’s footsteps and launch an IPO in similar market conditions, depending on its success.

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