China-based ByteDance, the owner of international short video app sensation TikTok, is taking first steps into online stock brokerage and wealth management businesss in Hong Kong, trademark registration records show.
ByteDance applied last December to register a trademark called Songshu Zhengquan, which translates to Squirrel Securities, in Hong Kong, the city’s online intellectual property database shows.
The trademark application is being”examined”, according to the database, and regions of company it applied for include “computerised financial information services, stock trading, brokerage services and stock exchange quotations.”
The business is still in its infancy and ByteDance now has just one full-time worker assigned to it, according to a person familiar with the circumstance.
The business has obtained a permit but any official launching of the online stockbroker business is not imminent, the source added, declining to be named as the data isn’t public.
ByteDance did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The company pulled its hit TikTok program from Hong Kong in July after Beijing established a new national safety law in the semi-autonomous, but quickly assimilating city state. It is also attempting to stop a ban on TikTok in the US and is in talks with Microsoft and Twitter to market its hyper-growth business there.
Other sources said that ByteDance’s is prioritising growth into EduTech and gaming, rather than financial technology.
However, a Beijing-based FinTech banker who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that it made sense for the technology giant to research opportunities in Hong Kong instead of the mainland, where the online wealth management market is dominated by Alibaba’s affiliate Ant Group.
Other Chinese-owned online stockbrokers in Hong Kong include Tiger Brokers and Tencent-backed Futu.
The team at Platform Executive hope you have enjoyed this news article. Initial reporting via our content partners at Thomson Reuters. Reporting by Yingzhi Yang in Beijing and Brenda Goh in Shanghai. Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore.
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