TikTok值多少钱?有人说200亿美元,有人说1000亿美元?要看是否包括它令人垂涎的算法了
2024-04-28 侧对飞雪 11464
正文翻译


题图:TikTok首席执行官周受资。

Now that President Biden has signed legislation forcing the sale of TikTok’s U.S. operations, any potential deal raises a big question: How much is the popular video-sharing app worth?

既然拜登总统已经签署了强制出售TikTok美国业务的法律,那么任何潜在的交易都会引发一个大问题:这款流行的视频分享应用到底值多少钱呢?

Those asking have some huge—and widely varying—numbers to consider. One suitor has suggested $20 billion as a starting price for the U.S. operations. Executives at TikTok parent ByteDance have previously considered TikTok’s global operations to be worth about half of the Chinese company’s overall value, which would put it above $100 billion, according to people familiar with the matter.

提出这个问题的人需要考虑一些巨大的、但差异很大的数字。一位收购者建议将200亿美元作为美国业务的起步价。据熟悉内情的人士透露,TikTok母公司字节跳动的高管此前认为,TikTok全球业务的价值约为这家中国公司整体价值的一半,这样的估算方式将使其价值超过1000亿美元。

Settling on the exact value will be difficult because the tech industry has never seen a sale like this before, and there are several unknowns.

要确定具体的价值非常困难,因为科技行业以前从未有过这样的强制出售,而且还有几个未知数。

A big factor is what would come with the sale. Would it be the whole international business and its more than one billion users, or just the U.S. operations with 170 million users? Would TikTok’s secret sauce—the addictive video-personalization algorithm that China has signaled it won’t allow to be sold—be included?

一个重要的因素是出售后会带来什么。是会带来超过10亿用户的全部国际业务,还是只拥有1.7亿用户的美国业务?TikTok的秘密武器--即其令人上瘾的视频个性化推荐算法--中国已表示不允许出售,是否会包括在这次出售之内?

Another question hangs over how attractive TikTok’s U.S. business is, as its once dizzying growth slows and Instagram rises as a rival.

另一个悬而未决的问题是,随着TikTok曾经令人眼花缭乱的增长放缓,以及Instagram作为其竞争对手的崛起,TikTok的美国业务究竟有多大吸引力?

It will likely take months or more to settle on a sale price—if it ever comes to that. President Biden on Wednesday signed the legislation after Congress approved the bill in recent days. TikTok is preparing to sue on free-speech grounds to stop the bill from being implemented. The legislation gives ByteDance up to a year to find a suitable buyer or face a U.S. ban.

确定出售价格可能需要数月或更长时间。在国会于近日批准该法案后,美国总统拜登于周三签署了该法案。TikTok正准备以言论自由为由提起诉讼,以阻止该法案的实施。该法案规定字节跳动公司须在一年内找到合适的买家,否则就将面临美国的禁令。

Further complicating a potential sale is that ByteDance’s founder, Zhang Yiming, could theoretically let TikTok be banned in the U.S., though outside investors have a say, too.

尽管外部投资者也有发言权,但字节跳动的创始人张一鸣理论上可以决定让TikTok在美国被禁,这使得潜在的出售更加复杂。

Zhang owns 20% of ByteDance, according to the company, though super shares have given him larger voting rights. Roughly 60% of ByteDance is owned by global institutional investors including Carlyle Group, General Atlantic and Susquehanna International Group. The remaining 20% is owned by company employees.

据字节跳动公司称,张一鸣拥有该公司20%的股份,不过表决权优先股赋予了他更大的投票权。字节跳动公司约60%的股份由全球机构投资者持有,包括凯雷集团、通用大西洋集团和苏斯克汉纳国际集团。其余20%由公司员工持有。

So far public declarations of interest in buying TikTok have been limited. Kevin O’Leary, chairman of O’Shares ETFs and a star of the TV show “Shark Tank,” said he was putting together a bid valuing it between $20 billion and $30 billion, without the algorithm. Former Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has said he was forming a group to buy TikTok, and Bobby Kotick, the former chief executive of videogame publisher Activision, has also approached Zhang, The Wall Street Journal has reported.

到目前为止,公开宣布有意收购TikTok的公司并不多。O'Shares ETFs董事长、电视节目“创智赢家”的明星凯文-奥利里表示,他正准备出价200亿至300亿美元收购TikTok(不含算法)。据《华尔街日报》报道,前财政部长史蒂文-姆努钦表示,他正在组建一个集团收购TikTok,电子游戏发行商动视公司前首席执行官鲍比-科蒂克也与张进行了接触。

Should Zhang and other shareholders agree to sell, a starting sales price from ByteDance’s perspective could be well over $100 billion. Executives at ByteDance last year said TikTok could be valued at as much as half of ByteDance’s valuation, according to people familiar with the matter.

如果张和其他股东同意出售,从字节跳动的角度来看,起价可能会远远超过1000亿美元。据熟悉内情的人士透露,字节跳动的高管去年曾表示,TikTok的估值可能高达字节跳动估值的一半。

ByteDance declined to comment on its view of TikTok’s valuation.

字节跳动公司拒绝就其对TikTok估值的看法发表评论。

In December, closely held ByteDance offered $160 a share to buy back shares from shareholders, telling them it implied a valuation of $268 billion, the people said.

上述人士说,去年12月时,紧密控股的字节跳动公司出价每股160美元向股东回购股票,这告诉他们这意味着其估值为2680亿美元。

Other investors think ByteDance is worth less. In private equity markets where ByteDance shareholders sell their stakes, the prices were lower than $130 a share, according to data from Rainmaker Securities, a private-equity brokerage. That would value the Chinese tech giant at less than $215 billion.

其他投资者认为字节跳动公司的价值更低。根据私募股权经纪公司Rainmaker Securities的数据,在字节跳动公司股东出售股权的私募股权市场上,价格低于每股130美元。这意味着这家中国科技巨头的估值不到2150亿美元。

There is also no consensus that TikTok is actually worth half of ByteDance, which operates several popular apps in China.

对于TikTok的实际价值是否相当于在中国运营多款流行应用的字节跳动的一半的看法,也没有达成共识。

Some investment banks and investors are valuing TikTok at five times its advertising and livestreaming revenue, according to people familiar with the matter. Last year, TikTok’s revenue from advertising and livestreaming, its main revenue sources, was about $22 billion, people familiar with the matter said. That suggests TikTok could be valued at $110 billion.

据熟悉内情的人士称,一些投行和投资者对TikTok的估值是按照其广告和直播收入的五倍来计算的。熟悉内情的人士说,去年,TikTok的主要收入来源--广告和直播收入约为220亿美元。这表明TikTok的估值可能达到1100亿美元。

These starting points assume that ByteDance sells all of TikTok instead of cleaving it into two businesses: one for the U.S. and another for the rest of the world.

这些出发点假设字节跳动公司出售了TikTok的全部业务,而不是将其分割成两块业务:一块用于美国,另一块用于世界其他地区。

America is TikTok’s biggest market and a major growth engine. The U.S. business launched an e-commerce service in September and aims to have $17.5 billion of merchandise transactions this year, people familiar with the matter said.

美国是TikTok最大的市场,也是主要的增长引擎。熟悉内情的人士说,美国业务于去年9月时推出了电子商务服务,目标是在今年实现175亿美元的商品交易额。

TikTok’s U.S. business is hitting its ad-sales targets, but user growth is stalling, the Journal reported last month. U.S. average monthly users ages 18 to 24 declined by nearly 9% from 2022 to 2023, according to the mobile analytics firm Data.ai. Sensor Tower, an analytics firm, estimates that daily time spent on Instagram grew 10% over the past year, compared with growth of 1% on TikTok, though TikTok still dominates social-media platforms in overall time spent on the apps.

据《华尔街日报》上月报道,TikTok的美国业务正在实现其广告销售目标,但用户增长却停滞不前。移动分析公司Data.ai的数据显示,从2022年到2023年,18至24岁的美国月均用户数量下降了近9%。分析公司Sensor Tower估计,过去一年Instagram的日均使用时间增长了10%,而TikTok的增长仅为1%,尽管TikTok在社交媒体平台上的总体使用时间仍占主导地位。

It is also unclear whether TikTok is profitable. In a March 2023 interview, TikTok Chief Executive Shou Zi Chew said it wasn’t profitable yet because it was spending billions of dollars trying to silo its U.S. and European operations from China, in an attempt to appease politicians and regulators worried about the app’s ties to Beijing.

目前还不清楚TikTok是否盈利。在2023年3月的一次采访中,TikTok首席执行官周受资说,TikTok尚未盈利,因为它正在花费数十亿美元,试图将美国和欧洲的业务与中国隔绝开来,以安抚担心该应用与中国政府关系的政客和监管机构。

Selling only the U.S. business would let ByteDance keep most of TikTok, but Chew said that doing so might “break” the app. Part of TikTok’s appeal, he said, is that people outside the U.S. can experience Americana.

如果只出售美国业务,字节跳动公司就可以保留TikTok的大部分业务,但周说这样做可能会“毁掉”这款应用。他说,TikTok的部分吸引力在于,美国以外的人也可以体验美国风情。

“You can be an American user, you could go viral in France, for example,” he said. “If you had two companies—one for the U.S. and one for the rest of the world—you think about how you’re going to interoperate. How are you going to do that?”

他说:“你可以作为一个美国的用户,却在法国走红。如果你有两家公司,一家是美国公司,一家是世界其他地方的公司,你就要考虑如何互通。考虑到这点,你会打算怎么做呢?”

Another issue that could reduce TikTok’s sale price is control of the app’s algorithm, or the system that personalizes what videos a user views. China said last year that selling TikTok would be subject to government approval because the algorithm falls under Chinese export-control rules.

另一个可能降低TikTok售价的问题是对该应用算法的控制,即对用户观看的视频进行个性化设置的系统。中国去年表示,出售TikTok需要获得政府批准,因为该算法属于中国出口管制规定的范畴。

ByteDance thinks the algorithm is key to making TikTok addictive and fun, investors and company executives said. Buyers might have to bid for TikTok without the algorithm and install their own system.

投资者和公司高管表示,字节跳动公司认为算法是TikTok让人上瘾和吸引人的关键。买家可能不得不竞购不包含算法的TikTok,并安装自己的系统。

“You have to be a steward to change it from TikTok China to TikTok U.S.A.,” Shark Tank’s O’Leary said on CNBC last month. “Everybody assumes you’re not going to get the algorithm from the Chinese government, and there’s no question that they will not sell it.”

“你必须成为一个管理者,把它从中国的TikTok变成美国的TikTok,”《创智赢家》的奥利里上个月在CNBC上说。“每个人都认为你无法从中国政府那里获得算法,毫无疑问,他们是不会出售算法的。”

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