Shark Tank's Kevin O'Leary Wants To Buy TikTok: Can 'Mr. Wonderful' Save It From US Ban?

Zinger Key Points
  • Shark Tank star Kevin O'Leary announced on Tuesday that he is beginning crowdfunding to pursue a purchase of TikTok.
  • The Chinese-owned company's user data practices has come under scrutiny, resulting in a U.S. law requiring divestment or a ban.

The Chinese-owned social media platform TikTok has become increasingly popular among U.S. citizens in recent years. After a recently signed U.S. law requiring parent company ByteDance Ltd. to divest U.S. operations or face a ban, speculation abounded regarding a potential American buyer.

Could Shark Tank star and multi-millionaire Kevin O’Leary be successful in buying the company to avoid a ban?

What Happened: O’Leary, sometimes affectionately called “Mr. Wonderful,” announced his attempt to buy the platform via crowdfunding in a post to Instagram on Tuesday.

“As you know, Congress has passed a law: within 270 days, TikTok has to sell itself into U.S. interests so that its user data is not seen by the eyes of foreign adversaries,” O’Leary said. “I think we got to democratize the whole platform, make it a platform for Americans.”

Also Read: Kevin O’Leary Says Employers Will Screen Out Ivy League Anti-Israel Student Protestors While Hiring Using AI: ‘These People Are Screwed’

O’Leary’s bid would rely on crowdfunding efforts, as elaborated on by his website.

“His [O’Leary’s] experience makes him well-suited to lead TikTok and help transform the social media platform into a respected U.S.-owned company,” the website reads. “‘America’s foremost adversary has no business controlling a dominant media platform in the United States,’ Chairman Gallagher recently stressed. Mr. Wonderful is aligned with these goals in making TikTok an American enterprise of stature.”

Why it Matters: O’Leary has previously expressed interest in buying the platform. O’Leary indicated in March that bidding for TikTok would start at a highly discounted $20 billion to $30 billion price tag.

O’Leary is outspoken on several political issues. A purchase of TikTok by O’Leary could mirror Elon Musk‘s purchase of Twitter, now X, for $44 billion in 2022.

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Photo: Kevin O’Leary courtesy “Shark Tank”; TikTok, via Shutterstock

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Posted In: Social MediaPoliticsGlobalTechByteDanceChinaCongressElon MuskKevin O'Learysocial mediaTikTokTikTok BantwitterUnited StatesX
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