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ByteDance secures land in rival Tencent’s hometown of Shenzhen for new regional headquarters

Last year, ByteDance signed a strategic cooperation agreement with the Shenzhen government to set up a Greater Bay Area headquarters in the city.

TikTok’s Chinese owner ByteDance has secured a CNY 1.1 billion (USD 140 million) plot of land in Shenzhen where it plans to build its southern China headquarters.

Located in the southern district of Shenzhen where most of the city’s tech companies are based, the land will accommodate a multi-story office floor area of 62,600 square meters, equal to one third of the office space in New York’s Empire State Building.

Shenzhen Jinri Toutiao Technology, a ByteDance subsidiary, has leased the land from the Shenzhen government for a period of 30 years. The lease allows land use for “mobile internet innovative applications and industrialization, including mobile content and online entertainment,” according to a statement from the Shenzhen Land and Real Estate Exchange Center.

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The ByteDance plot is also next to the southern China branches of electronic appliance giant Hisense, rail builder China Railway Group and China National Offshore Oil Corporation.

Shenzhen is China’s hi-tech hub, home to Tencent, Huawei Technologies and other major Chinese companies at the forefront of the country’s broader push for smart cities powered by technologies such as artificial intelligence, cloud computing, big data, and 5G.

Keep your friends close

The new ByteDance building will be only 15 minutes drive from the headquarters of internet giant Tencent Holdings, which last week announced plans for an ambitious new urban development project called Net City in Shenzhen’s Dachanwan port area, featuring 200 hectares of building space, including a new Tencent office building, living areas, schools, retail stores, parks, and public transport among other amenities.The two internet giants compete with each other in gaming, short video, and social media.

ByteDance declined to comment on how it plans to use the land. Last year, it signed a “strategic cooperation” agreement with the Shenzhen government to set up a Greater Bay Area headquarters in the city, answering the Chinese government’s call to connect southern Chinese cities including Hong Kong, Shenzhen, and Guangzhou.

The fast-growing company, said to be the world’s most valuable unicorn worth more than USD 100 billion, recently took out a three-year lease on about 3,000 square feet (279 square metres) of space in the Times Square office tower in Hong Kong’s Causeway Bay district, according to Bloomberg.

This article was originally published in the South China Morning Post.