Bytedance is within talks to join forces with singapores influential lee company family, due to the fact chinese technology team appears to expand into banking the very first time.

The organization features bid for a digital bank licence in the city-state and it is negotiating a tie-up with a good investment team linked to the lees, said three individuals with familiarity with the situation.

Bytedance is better recognized for its short-video application tiktok, but like many other technology organizations, the beijing-based group has-been attempting to make a transfer to monetary solutions.

The monetary authority of singapore is defined to issue five digital banking licences by the end of the year, which is why bytedance will take on a great many other asian technology companies including alibabas ant financial and smartphone maker xiaomi.

For bytedance, with a valuation of $75bn and has now traded far higher inside additional market, a partnership aided by the important household would-be a credibility boost.

The lees are one of singapores many popular business families and derive a big section of their particular wide range through their particular stake in ocbc bank, south-east asias second-biggest lender by possessions. patriarch lee kong chian is recognized as ocbcs founding daddy and had been a long-serving chairman, while numerous members of the family have actually held senior positionsat the bank the lees co-founded.

The family has actually a number of companies, including lee rubber group, additionally the lee foundation, its charitable supply, aids several schools alongside culturalprojects.

Some people in the lee household have actually connections to government organizations. lee seng wee, son of lee kong chian and another previous ocbc chairman, ended up being founding chairman of temasek trust, the philanthropic supply for the state-backed investment organization.

The lee household is not straight associated with the family of lee kuan yew, singapores first prime minister.

Bytedance hasn't publicly confirmed its participation in singapores digital bank procedure. it declined to comment on the bid when contacted by the financial circumstances.

When in the beginning contacted for touch upon this article, the lee group of companies required all communication be sent by real post and declined to comment further.

After publication, the lee number of businesses emailed to request listed here clarification be amended towards initial article: the lee number of businesses wants to explain that none regarding the lee set of businesses take part in the reported bid for an electronic digital bank licence in singapore, or in any negotiations concerning the said bid.

Ocbc, which matters relative dr lee tih shih as a board director,declined to comment.

Bytedance had previously explored obtaining a virtual banking licence in hong-kong, which a year ago launched its financial sector to technology organizations including tencent and alibaba.

The beijing-based organization will not function an electronic lender in china, where many virtual monetary services tend to be ruled by tencent and alibaba through their particular wechat pay and alipay platforms. alternatively, bytedance views places particularly singapore as much better possibilities for interruption.

The push for a singapore banking licence comes as chinese team seeks to boost its impact in town.

The business features applied for one of several three wholesale banklicences available, the folks said, which will imply it could be restricted to serving business clients including small and medium-sized businesses.

Experts have questioned theability associated with the tech challengers which will make inroads into singapore, considering the fact that it really is a small, well-banked marketplace and residence to some quite digitally savvy incumbent lenders in the world.

But people close to the conversations stated the wholesale candidates may potentially make their particular financial institutions a hub for deals concerning other parts for the company, by way of example for merchants offering items on tiktok.

In china, bytedance has beefed-up its ecommerce business to monetise traffic to its douyin movie app.

Additional reporting by stefania palma in singapore

This short article has been amended to mirror the truth that the lee group of businesses commented after publication.