Ex-US treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin ‘forming investor group to buy TikTok’

14 March 2024, 14:24

Former US treasury secretary Steve Mnuchin
TikTok Mnuchin. Picture: PA

The popular video app has more than 170 million American users and is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Chinese technology firm ByteDance Ltd.

Former US treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin has said he is going to put together an investor group to buy TikTok, a day after the House of Representatives passed a Bill that would ban the popular video app in America if its China-based owner did not sell its stake.

TikTok, which has more than 170 million American users, is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Chinese technology firm ByteDance Ltd.

Speaking on CNBC’s Squawk Box, Mr Mnuchin said that he believed TikTok should be sold.

“This should be owned by US businesses. There’s no way that the Chinese would ever let a US company own something like this in China,” Mr Mnuchin said.

Mr Mnuchin, the US treasury secretary under former president Donald Trump, did not provide details about who else may be included in the investor group he planned on forming or TikTok’s possible valuation.

The TikTok logo seen on a mobile phone in front of a computer screen which displays the TikTok home screen
TikTok has said it has never shared US user data with Chinese authorities (Michael Dwyer/AP)

TikTok did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Big tech companies could afford to buy TikTok but would be likely to face intense scrutiny from antitrust regulators in both the US and China. Then again, if the Bill actually became law and survived First Amendment court challenges, it could make TikTok cheaper to buy.

The House Bill, passed by a vote of 352-65, now goes to the Senate, where its prospects are unclear. House lawmakers had acted on concerns that TikTok’s current ownership structure was a national security threat.

Lawmakers in the Senate indicated that the measure would undergo a thorough review. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has said that he would have to consult with relevant committee chairs to determine the Bill’s path.

President Joe Biden has said if Congress passes the measure, he will sign it.

TikTok has long denied that it could be used as a tool of the Chinese government. The company has said it has never shared US user data with Chinese authorities and would not do so if it was asked.

To date, the US government has also not provided evidence that shows TikTok has shared such information with Chinese authorities.

By Press Association

Latest World News

See more Latest World News

Eight Israeli soldiers killed in southern Gaza - as Palestinian death toll reaches '37,000'

Eight Israeli soldiers killed in southern Gaza in deadliest attack since January

Olympic rings on the Eiffel Tower in Paris

IOC gives 14 Russians and 11 Belarusians neutral status for Paris Olympics

The ride got stuck upside down

Horrifying moment people get stuck upside down on theme park ride, as dozens have to be rescued

Muslim pilgrims standing at the top of the rocky hill known as the Mountain of Mercy

Muslim pilgrims converge at Mount Arafat for worship as Hajj reaches its peak

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky, arrives at Zurich airport in Switzerland

World leaders to meet at Swiss resort on possible Ukraine peace roadmap

Alex Jones speaking to the media after arriving at court in Houston, Texas, for a hearing in front of a bankruptcy judge on Friday

Judge rules Alex Jones’ assets to be sold to help pay Sandy Hook debt

South African president Cyril Ramaphosa raises his hands in parliament after being re-elected for a second term

Cyril Ramaphosa re-elected as South African president for second term after deal

Co-founder of Ozy Media, Carlos Watson arrives at Brooklyn Federal Court, for an earlier hearing

Google chief gives evidence at fraud trial of Ozy Media founder

Justice Department

US attorney general will not be prosecuted for contempt of Congress

A 12-year-old child was injured at the Valkea shopping centre in Oulu after a stabbing

'Far-right' knifeman attacks two children at Finnish shopping centre, leaving 12-year-old seriously wounded

The leaders of France left-wing coalition for the upcoming election Green Party Yannick Jadot, Communist Party national secretary Fabien Roussel, Socialist Party Secretary General Olivier Faure Presid

France’s leftist alliance leaders vow to ‘extinguish the flame’ of far right

G7 world leaders and other leaders from guest nations attend a working session on artificial intelligence, on day two of the 50th G7 summit in southern Italy

G7 leaders tackle migration, AI and economic security on final day of summit

Cyril Ramaphosa listens as members of parliament are sworn in ahead of an expected vote to decide if he is re-elected as leader of the country

Ramaphosa set for re-election in South Africa after coalition agreement

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky talks to journalists during a news conference in Italy

How 50 billion-dollar loan for Ukraine backed by frozen Russian assets will work

Lynn Conway sitting on a bench at the University of Michigan

Lynn Conway, microchip pioneer who overcame transgender prejudice, dies aged 86

Johnny Canales on stage at the Tejano Music Awards in San Antonio, Texas in 2012

Tejano singer and TV host Johnny Canales dies at 77