ByteDance, the Chinese owner of short video app TikTok, will allow shares owned by US employees to vest without waiting for the company to list in the stock market, thereby letting them cash out, according to people familiar with the matter, reports Reuters. The move is aimed at appeasing restless employees who have been waiting for an initial public offering (IPO) to profit from the shares they have been awarded as part of their compensation.
It is also an indication that ByteDance, whose worth in excess of $200 billion makes it the world’s most valuable startup, is in no rush to go public amid Beijing’s heightened scrutiny of China’s technology giants.
ByteDance will now allow restricted shares held by US employees to vest as long as sufficient time has passed, the sources said. The company previously set a “liquidity event,” such as an IPO or company sale, as a condition for the vesting to occur, the sources added. Once vested, the shares can be exchanged by the employees for cash in one of ByteDance’s stock buyback programs.