TikTok-owner ByteDance is reportedly planning a foray into the finance sector of Hong Kong.
According to report from 21st Century Business Herald ByteDance has applied for five financial licenses from the Securities and Futures Commission of Hong Kong (SFC) via its local subsidiary Squirrel Securities (松鼠证券)
Squirrel, which was registered in Hong Kong in December of 2019, has reportedly submitted applications for category 1, 4, 5, 6 and 9 licenses, which will enable it to provide securities and futures transaction services, advisory on securities, futures contracts and institutional finance, as well as asset management services.
ByteDance is reported to have also applied for a virtual banking license in Singapore with OCBC, five of which will be issued by the Singaporean central bank before the end of the year.
The report arrives just as the Trump administration moves to ban ByteDance’s TikTok app – one of the world’s fastest growing social media platforms with around 800 million active users globally.
Many of mainland China’s leading tech companies have made moves to enter the Hong Kong finance market, with Ant Group, Tencent, JD.com and Xiaomi all securing virtual banking licenses in the city via local subsidiaries
Alibaba and Tencent have both established a presence in Hong Kong’s brokerage, virtual banking and insurance sectors via a range of subsidiaries in the city.