Chinese startup Kuaishou is considering to a U.S. initial public offering to bankroll its expansion in short videos and fend off competition from TikTok-owner ByteDance Inc., according to people familiar with the matter.
The company, backed by Tencent Holdings Ltd., plans to list next year, the people said, requesting not to be named because the matter is private.
One person said Kuaishou also weighed the option of going public this year. The video startup is raising more than $1 billion at a $25 billion valuation in a pre-IPO round mostly from Tencent, one of the people said.
Kuaishou is an important part of Chinese social media giant Tencent's strategy to compete against ByteDance, now the world’s most valuable startup.
Tencent has devoted a lot of resources toward building a library of short and mini video offerings -- key to retaining user attention and boosting advertising revenue -- but has yet to catch its rival.
"Tencent's biggest enemy is ByteDance right now," said David Dai, a Hong Kong-based analyst at Bernstein. "Tencent hasn't been very successful in short videos in the past, so resorting to investing in other companies instead is its best option."
U.S.-listed shares of some of Kuaishou's competitors fell. Momo Inc. fell 2.8%, the most in more than a week, while DouYu International Holdings Ltd. fell 1.9%, the most in about a month. Both under-performed the Nasdaq, which rose 0.3%.