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The Latest From TikTok's Sale Process: Triller Bid, Chinese Commentary

The Latest From TikTok's Sale Process: Triller Bid, Chinese Commentary

TikTok owner ByteDance insists it hasn't received a bid offer from smaller rival Triller, but Triller insists it has "confirmation" of a submitted offer, Chairman Bobby Sarnevesht said on CNBC's "Squawk Box Asia."

Bid Offer Went 'Pretty High Up': ByteDance Chairman Zhang Yiming along with other executives "pretty high up" are aware of Triller's acquisition offer, Sarnevesht said. The two sides are talking and the China-based ByteDance is considering its next moves.

It's not clear why ByteDance would publicly acknowledge there are no ongoing discussions, he said, but within the next 24 hours there will likely be a "significant change" in ByteDance's disclosures on acquisition talks.

See Also: TikTok Denies Smaller Rival Triller Made $20B Buyout Offer

For now, Sarnevesht has attributed the confusion to his offer only being evaluated "at the top" of the company and it has yet to "work its way down" over the weekend, he said.

Triller Versus Tech Giants: Triller would be bidding against tech behemoths including Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT) and Oracle (NYSE: ORCL). But Triller is perhaps in a better position to ease American regulators' concerns about the social media app with close ties to China.

Unlike the tech giants, Triller has no intention of using "any Chinese technology," including "one line of code" as part of a combined entity, Sarnevesht said. Instead, Triller would merely integrate TikTok's platform and user base to its own platform that already boasts its own AI-engine recommendation.

See Also: New Chinese Tech Regulations Complicate The TikTok Deal

China's New Law: China updated its export technology laws for the first time in 12 years and this will add further complications to any deal. For now, it's reasonable to assume a deal will still proceed but there are too many variables at play.

Acquisition Price Tag: ByteDance could let go of its U.S. TikTok business for $20-$30 billion and this range is "not that overvalued," Wedbush analyst Brad Gastwirth said on CNBC's "Capital Connection." While the valuation is attractive given its future prospects, it remains unclear if China's new technology export laws would prevent an acquisition from even taking place.

Nevertheless, valuation alone is never reason enough to buy or sell an asset, he said.


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