BEIJING/SHANGHAI (Reuters) – Beijing-based ByteDance, owner of global short-video hit TikTok, is taking steps to get into online brokerage and wealth management in Hong Kong, company registration documents show. brands.
ByteDance filed an application last December to register a trademark called Songshu Zhengquan, which translates to Squirrel Securities, in Hong Kong, according to the city’s online intellectual property database.
The trademark application is under “examination”, according to the database, and the business areas for which it has applied include “computerized financial information services, stock trading, brokerage services and stock quotes”.
The company is still in its infancy and ByteDance currently only has one full-time employee assigned to it, according to a person familiar with the situation.
The company has obtained a license, but the official launch of the online brokerage business is not imminent, the source added, declining to be named because the information is not public.
ByteDance did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The company pulled its successful TikTok app from Hong Kong in July after Beijing established a new national security law on the semi-autonomous city. It is also trying to avoid a TikTok ban in the United States and is in talks with Microsoft and Twitter to sell its business there.
Other sources said ByteDance is prioritizing expansion into education technology and gaming, over fintech.
However, a Beijing-based fintech banker who spoke on condition of anonymity said it made sense for the tech giant to explore opportunities in Hong Kong rather than the mainland, where the management market online wealth is dominated by the Alibaba subsidiary Ant Group.
Other Chinese online brokers in Hong Kong include Tiger Brokers and Tencent-backed Futu.
Reporting by Yingzhi Yang in Beijing and Brenda Goh in Shanghai; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore