Ex-Treasury Secretary Mnuchin Eyes TikTok Buyout Amid Threat Of US Ban: 'It's A Great Business'

Amid heightened legislative scrutiny, Steven Mnuchin, the former U.S. Treasury Secretary, is reportedly spearheading an effort to acquire the widely-used social media platform TikTok.

What Happened: Mnuchin is organizing an investor group to purchase TikTok, CNBC reported on Thursday. This move follows the U.S. House of Representatives’ passage of a bill potentially mandating the sale or prohibition of TikTok in the country.

Mnuchin shared his plans on CNBC’s “Squawk Box,” stating, “It’s a great business and I’m going to put together a group to buy TikTok.”

He highlighted the necessity for TikTok, currently owned by Chinese entity ByteDance, to be under American control.

The bill is now progressing to the Senate, with expectations that President Joe Biden will support it upon passage.

Although tech luminaries like Peter Thiel and Keith Rabois have voiced concerns about TikTok’s influence, Mnuchin has not yet revealed any potential investors or the platform’s expected valuation.

See Also: Potential Trump Vice Presidential Pick Kristi Noem Sued Over Social Media Post Promoting Texas Dentist

Mnuchin’s previous involvement includes a notable investment in New York Community Bancorp via his firm Liberty Strategic Capital. His association with TikTok traces back to the Trump administration’s scrutiny of the platform’s ownership, which resulted in a data partnership with Oracle.

Why It Matters: The legislative momentum against TikTok has been building, with the House recently passing a bill that could compel ByteDance to divest TikTok or face a ban, impacting approximately 150 million U.S. users. The bill’s advancement to the Senate and potential presidential endorsement signify a critical juncture for the app’s future in the U.S. market.

Industry observers, including Gene Munster of Deepwater Asset Management, have echoed sentiments similar to those of former President Donald Trump regarding the potential TikTok ban. Munster indicated that the bill’s journey through the Senate remains uncertain, as no equivalent legislation currently exists there, leaving the outcome in limbo.

Read Next: Elon Musk Declines Minimum Payments To Ex-CNN Host Don Lemon On X Because All He Wants To Do Is ‘Rehash The Dying CNN Business Model’

Photo by Ti Vla on Shutterstock

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