TikTok Mansions Are Publicly Traded Now
November 21, 2020 10:50 AM   Subscribe

A business trying to make money off mansions full of TikTok influencers has gone public on the stock market through an unusual deal. It involves a former Chinese health care company, and if that sounds confusing, well, we can explain ... The deal was a reverse takeover, in which a private company (in this case, West of Hudson) is acquired by an already-public one (Tongji Healthcare) but ends up in control. The deal closed on Wednesday ... Before the reverse merger, Tongji itself was acquired by the investors who control West of Hudson, a New Jersey real estate operator named Amir Ben-Yohanan and his business partners.
posted by geoff. (28 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
 
"Zach, a 12-year-old investor who has established a following on YouTube and Twitter, is one of many young people who have gotten into stock trading, largely by watching YouTube videos. “There’s a lot more young people in the stock market than people think,” he said."
posted by geoff. at 10:51 AM on November 21 [1 favorite]


It is amazing how completely divorced all this is from anything resembling a human need being met by a competitive marketplace. Has anyone seen that poor, bedraggled field that used to go around calling itself the queen of the social sciences recently? In a van down by the river, muttering something about rational actors between belts of crown russe maybe?
posted by mhoye at 10:56 AM on November 21 [16 favorites]


It is amazing how completely divorced all this is from anything resembling a human need being met by a competitive marketplace.

If you change "social media influencer" to actor and "content house" to set and "Chinese health consortium Tongji" to studio you kind of have a normal article.
posted by geoff. at 11:02 AM on November 21 [4 favorites]


I might be able to envision a less attractive housing situation than living with a bunch of TikTok “influencers” (Parler “influencers”?) but this is pretty near the bottom of my list.

Meanwhile, what is the over/under on how long it will take until something truly horrible happens in one of these places and everyone gets their pants sued off?
posted by slkinsey at 11:05 AM on November 21 [1 favorite]


You can expect to see more of this thing -- blank check companies IPO first, and then go find a company to buy with the money. SPACs (Special Purpose Acquisition Companies), as they're formally called, came around near the end of the dotcom boom, to give you an idea of where we are in the business cycle.
posted by pwnguin at 11:15 AM on November 21 [11 favorites]


COVID-19 has taught me to push back whenever I see the stock market being used as a proxy for the overall health of the economy. I always knew that it was imperfect. But it's been galling to see the major indices "recover" over the last few months, despite the pandemic worsening instead of magically going away thanks to warmer temperatures and hydroxychloroquine fountains on every street corner.

Just to add insult to injury, there's the fact that both the S&P 500 and the DJIA bottomed out on March 23rd just barely above their closing values the day after the 2016 election. The lazy writers must have decided they weren't willing to abandon the "Trump improved the stock market" plotline after all. I may have to live inside their crappy screenplay, but I don't have to be happy about it.
posted by Riki tiki at 11:15 AM on November 21 [9 favorites]


... The Aristocrats!
posted by biogeo at 11:22 AM on November 21 [2 favorites]


So rich people are setting piles of money on fire in the hopes that other rich people will pay lots of money to watch it burn.

We really, really, really need to turn this spectacle into a fucking barbecue.
posted by seanmpuckett at 11:26 AM on November 21 [7 favorites]


A large proportion of the world's English-speaking teen and pre-teen tik-tok influencers are working and living in property owned by the corporate equivalent of a Mobius strip?
Sounds like the sort of thing where it's true, awful, significance is going to take several seasons to work out.
posted by thatwhichfalls at 11:52 AM on November 21 [3 favorites]


You don't actually have to set money on fire; when it starts moving around really fast it catches fire on its own -- and takes everything combustible with it.

Then you start over again.
posted by jamjam at 12:03 PM on November 21


I always knew that it was imperfect.

I can't now remember now where I first read it, but the stock market being described as "a mood ring for rich white guys" has stuck with me.

A large proportion of the world's English-speaking teen and pre-teen tik-tok influencers are working and living in property owned by the corporate equivalent of a Mobius strip?

I'm probably never going to stop missing J.G. Ballard.
posted by ryanshepard at 12:50 PM on November 21 [5 favorites]


Forget the stock market/business deal stuff, I'm stuck on the new-to-me notion that mansions set aside for hordes of TikTok influencers is actually a thing that exists.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:18 PM on November 21 [4 favorites]


This sounds like a scam. I really hope there aren’t that many 12 year old investors out there because scammers would love that.
posted by Selena777 at 1:22 PM on November 21 [1 favorite]


I'm stuck on the new-to-me notion that mansions set aside for hordes of TikTok influencers is actually a thing that exists.

Just tack "Mental Hospital" to the end of the mansion names, and it'll probably make more sense.
posted by Greg_Ace at 1:25 PM on November 21 [1 favorite]


How can a 12-year-old be an investor when they are not of a legal age to sign contracts?
posted by heatherlogan at 1:28 PM on November 21 [2 favorites]


I'm stuck on the new-to-me notion that mansions set aside for hordes of TikTok influencers is actually a thing that exists.

It’s the 21st century... what did you imagine? That they like were vassals and knights, with sovereignty over their own fiefdoms? There are limits these days. I think it’s actually quite enough they reside in simple shared mansions. Some of which are just large tract subdivision houses.
posted by floam at 1:45 PM on November 21


I wish Marshall McLuhan and Guy Debord were here to see this shit.
posted by LindsayIrene at 1:51 PM on November 21 [5 favorites]


Thinking about this article some more, how does SAG and all the unions treat this? I mean I was sort tongue in cheek joking about "content houses" being sets but they literally are. They have all the accruements of a reality television show: lighting, actors, cameras. I know reality television got bit when it became a thing because networks were not employing people properly and crediting writers, etc. A lot of these rent-in-kind deals feel really exploitive in an industry that has a terrible reputation for exploiting workers. I'm guessing the bigger TikTok names all have representation and are fine, which is usually the case with actors, the ones that get screwed are the B-list types.

When you're using advanced financial instruments to structure mergers in order to finance productions you're way out of the realm of cute teenage girls sharing makeup videos.
posted by geoff. at 1:59 PM on November 21


If you change "social media influencer" to actor and "content house" to set and "Chinese health consortium Tongji" to studio you kind of have a normal article.

Except that the audience would understand that what it was watching was fiction.
posted by Cardinal Fang at 2:05 PM on November 21 [1 favorite]


It’s the 21st century... what did you imagine? That they like were vassals and knights, with sovereignty over their own fiefdoms?

In all seriousness? I thought they were in their own apartments they shared with a couple roommates or studios that maybe their parents got them for graduation gifts or they had day jobs and only did the Tiktok stuff on the weekends as a side hustle or something.

Like, I thought the role of"TikTok Influencer" was an indie gig you got into as a side hustle - I didn't know that you were drafted into a whole stable or something.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 2:06 PM on November 21 [5 favorites]


The economy has gone full Klein bottle.
posted by NoThisIsPatrick at 2:08 PM on November 21 [1 favorite]




This reality totally blows
posted by Saxon Kane at 3:25 PM on November 21


I feel the need to post a tweet from the official North Korean news feed.
“So called “Influencer” is new “profession” by hedonistic West in which scantily clad women post advertisement to “influence” lonely idiots to buy diuretics and masturbate.”

Just gonna leave that here.
posted by misterpatrick at 4:19 PM on November 21


(Minor point here, but @DPRK_News is not a real North Korean news feed.)
posted by Not A Thing at 5:22 PM on November 21 [2 favorites]


Wha!? I am sad and disappointed as for years I have been reading their official webpage which can sometimes be interesting to say the least. And now that you mention it I remember when the twitter account first appeared and was debunked. But of course I had forgotten. Thanks for pointing out my error!
posted by misterpatrick at 6:27 PM on November 21 [2 favorites]


This reads like a plot from an unpublished draft of Idoru. Wild.
posted by heteronym at 6:45 PM on November 21 [1 favorite]


The real money will lie in developing a market for influencer mansion futures.
posted by carter at 10:24 AM on November 25


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