By WSJ Oct. 1, 2020
Susquehanna International Group is sitting on stake in app’s owner estimated at more than $15 billion
No matter the outcome of the struggle between China and the U.S. over video-sharing app TikTok, an unlikely winner will be a secretive trading firm based outside of Philadelphia.
Susquehanna International Group LLP, an options-trading giant, has largely avoided publicity during its three-decade history. Susquehanna’s core business is using quantitative models and computers to execute rapid-fire trades in various markets. Such firms tend to rake in profits by making thousands of small trades a day, often holding securities for fractions of a second.
But in the case of TikTok, the firm bet big and held on to its investment for years.
Susquehanna owns around 15% of TikTok owner ByteDance Ltd., according to people familiar with the matter. This makes Susquehanna the largest outside investor in the Beijing-based social-media company. Based on private trades of ByteDance shares earlier this year, Susquehanna is sitting on a stake that could be worth more than $15 billion on paper, according to data firm PitchBook.