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USA: Former Finance Minister gathers investors to buy Tiktok – Economy

USA: Former Finance Minister gathers investors to buy Tiktok – Economy

Former US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin is organizing a group of investors to buy Tiktok. On Thursday, Mnuchin told business radio station CNBC that the short video app should be owned by a US company. However, Tiktok should not be controlled by large US tech companies as this could be problematic in terms of competition law. Rather, Tiktok must remain a real competitor to them. However, the app will have to be reprogrammed in the US using US technology.

There is currently a bill in the US Congress that could result in Tiktok being banned from US app stores if the app remains owned by Bytedance Group. Bytedance is viewed in the US as a Chinese company, but the company itself disputes this by pointing out that it is 60% owned by Western investors and is headquartered in the Cayman Islands in the Caribbean.

After the bill was passed in the House of Representatives in a quick procedure, a longer study looms in the Senate, the second chamber of Congress. US President Joe Biden has already made clear that he will sign the law. Bytedance will then have approximately half a year to separate from Tiktok before removing the app from download platforms. The deadline is sometimes criticized as being too short. However, Mnuchin said, “I think you can get a lot done in six months.” At the same time, he stressed that the application is very popular and should not be closed: “Users love it.”

Ahead of the November presidential election, both Democrats under Biden and Republicans under Donald Trump realize they can reach important young voters via TikTok. Mnuchin said his intention is to attract a group of investors, none of whom will be able to control the service alone. As Trump's Treasury Secretary, he was also in charge of the committee that dealt with foreign investment in the United States. Mnuchin said he also had access to information about Tiktok that he cannot talk about publicly. “Let's just say that if you had this app on everyone's phone, it could collect incredible amounts of data,” he said simply. Mnuchin currently serves as President of financial investor Liberty Strategic Capital.