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ByteDance, Razer vie for digital bank licenses in Singapore

Beijing ByteDance Technology Co. Ltd., owner of video app TikTok, joined a list of contenders seeking to operate a digital bank in Singapore, The Straits Times reported.

The Chinese company reportedly applied for a wholesale digital bank license in the city-state. Ant Financial Services Group and an iFAST Corp. Ltd.-led consortium are also in the running to secure the same license.

Other contenders include a group led by gaming hardware manufacturer Razer Inc., as well as ride-hailing app Grab Holdings Inc., which submitted a joint bid with Singtel for a full banking license.

The Monetary Authority of Singapore in 2019 revealed plans to issue up to five new digital bank licenses — two for digital full banks and three for digital wholesale banks. The financial regulator is expected to announce which applicants will be rewarded the licenses by mid-2020.

In December 2019, The Wall Street Journal reported that ByteDance is considering Singapore as a possible location for the global headquarters of TikTok.