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The former US Treasury Secretary will buy TikTok to avoid being banned in the United States

The former US Treasury Secretary will buy TikTok to avoid being banned in the United States

Steven Mnuchin, former US Secretary of the Treasury Organizes an investor group to buy TikTok. This step comes in response to a draft law passed yesterday that requires the Chinese owner of the social networking site to sell its American branch to an American company within 6 months of its issuance or be banned from operating. This proposal has already been approved by the House of Representatives, and if it becomes law, it would require ByteDance to sell or end TikTok operations in the United States. The bill now heads to the Senate, and President Joe Biden has indicated he will sign it.

Mnuchin, who is now president of Liberty Strategic Capital, said he would form a group for the acquisition.

In his opinion, this would be an excellent business opportunity. There is a relationship between Liberty Strategy and ByteDance, which runs TikTok, through SoftBank's Vision Fund, which invested in ByteDance in 2018 and is also listed as a partner in Mnuchin's venture.

Given the popularity of TikTok — which is used by about 170 million Americans — concerns have arisen about the potential Chinese influence the app provides, and many major technology investors have criticized the platform.

It is not yet clear whether China will allow the sale to an American buyer. TikTok's CEO and a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman also disputed this.

ByteDance was last valued at $220 billion.

Mnuchin did not specify who exactly would support him in this deal or for what value they would buy the platform. Other interested buyers have already been mentioned.

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Cover image source: Getty Images

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