ByteDance, the Chinese company that owns video-sharing app TikTok, posted a profit of $25 billion last year, according to two unnamed investors familiar with the results. This marks an almost 80% increase compared to the $14 billion result in 2021. Revenues also increased by over 30% to around $85 billion, with about $15 billion generated outside China, double the figure for 2021. ByteDance was valued at $300 billion in 2022, making it the world's most valuable privately-owned company.
However, founder Zhang Yiming's fortune fell by $13 billion to $42 billion after TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew revealed during a congressional hearing that Yiming and Liang Rubo, the chief executive of ByteDance, own around 20% of the company. Chew testified in an attempt to ease concerns that ByteDance was sharing data about US users with the Chinese government. ByteDance has been threatened with a US TikTok ban by the Biden administration if it doesn't sell the app. More than 12 other countries have partially or totally banned TikTok over similar security concerns.
Despite these concerns, some in ByteDance do not seem to be worried about the prospect of a US ban. Erich Anderson, one of its lawyers heading up discussions with the US government, reportedly laughed and "outright dismissed the possibility of a ban" when asked about contingency plans if the app did get banned in the US.
ByteDance did not respond to requests for comment from the Financial Times or from Insider.