Ex-US Treasury Secretary reveals TikTok purchase plans — RT World News

Steven Mnuchin told CNBC that he is putting together an investor group to try to buy the short-form video app

Former US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said he is building an investor group to acquire TikTok, a day after the House of Representatives voted to force ByteDance, the Chinese owner of the social media platform, to sell the app or face a US ban.

The House of Representatives approved the legislation by a vote of 352 to 65 on Wednesday, citing national security risks. The bill now goes to the Senate. US President Joe Biden said earlier that he would sign the bill into law if it is approved by both houses of Congress.

“I think the legislation should pass, and I believe that [TikTok] “must be sold” Mnuchin, who leads Liberty Strategic Capital, told CNBC on Thursday. “It's a great business and I'm going to form a group to buy TikTok.” He said.

Mnuchin, who served as Treasury Secretary under former President Donald Trump, did not specify who the other investors in such a deal were or the potential valuation of the social media site.

“It should be owned by American companies.” He stressed adding “There is no way the Chinese would allow an American company to own something like this in China.”

Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal previously reported that former Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick was also shopping a potential deal for potential partners. However, according to CNBC, it is still unclear whether the Chinese government will allow ByteDance to sell TikTok to a US buyer.

China has criticized ongoing efforts to ban the popular social media platform in the United States, and Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said such a move violates international trade rules. TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew indicated that selling is not an option.

While TikTok is the only app specifically mentioned in the document currently making its way through Congress, it creates a framework for Washington to ban other platforms controlled by countries it deems “Foreign enemies” Experts warn. The list of countries classified as such includes China, Russia, Iran, North Korea and Venezuela.

If signed into law, the bill would give ByteDance 165 days to divest TikTok, which has more than 170 million US users. If they fail to do so, US web hosting companies will have to remove TikTok and other ByteDance-related apps from their app stores.

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