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TikTok owner Bytedance moving to bigger Singapore office

BYTEDANCE, the Chinese owner of video app TikTok, is moving to a bigger office in Singapore’s financial district, paving the way for it to make the city-state its beachhead for the rest of Asia.

It has signed an agreement to lease three floors measuring over 60,000 square feet (5,574 square metres) at One Raffles Quay, said people familiar with the plan. They asked not to be named because the details are not public.

Bytedance’s office expansion will enable the world’s most richly valued startup to anchor itself in Singapore, where it plans to invest several billion dollars. The move will support Bytedance’s hiring spree, as it plans to add hundreds of jobs over the next three years in the city-state, people familiar have said.

Controlled by billionaire Zhang Yiming, the firm is pushing its social media service across Asia following setbacks in India, the UK and the US, where Chinese tech companies are facing growing hostility amid security concerns.

The new office is being refurbished. It is likely that employees will move in by the first quarter and will be informed about it later this month or in November, the people said. A representative for Bytedance declined to comment.

The Chinese tech firm’s move in Singapore coincides with other US tech giants’ plans. Amazon is set to move to a larger office space in the city’s financial district. Tencent Holdings is also setting up its regional headquarters in the country.

Singapore is seen as an attractive base for both Western and Asian firms because of its political stability, developed financial and legal system – especially as its rival Hong Kong is still grappling with upheaval and China’s tightening grip.

Bytedance’s move to One Raffles Quay – which is jointly owned by Hongkong Land Holdings, Keppel Reit and Suntec Real Estate Investment Trust – will be a boost to the office building since its anchor tenant, UBS Group is moving out, having secured another office space to consolidate its operations in Singapore.

Bytedance now has a shared space on one of the floors in Asia Square Tower 1, which is owned by Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund.

The tech firm currently has more than 200 job openings in Singapore, for positions from data analysts to product policy and legal counsel. Some of the positions are based in the city but will deal with issues in other South-east Asian countries, says its career site. BLOOMBERG

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