TikTok to be sold to American investors to avoid US ban, according to reports

TikTok to be sold to American investors to avoid US ban

 

 

US investors are reportedly considering buying the video sharing app from Chinese parent company ByteDance in an effort to save TikTok’s sizeable foothold in America.

A group of investors, including venture capital firms Sequoia and General Atlantic, are mulling buying a majority stake, according to The Information and the Financial Times. The investors are talking with the US Treasury Department and other regulators about whether a spinoff of TikTok would quell US concerns about the company, according to the FT, which cited anonymous sources.

 

The reports come as TikTok faces heightened scrutiny in Washington. Tensions between the United States and China have been climbing as the two powers battle over trade, technology, national security and human rights. ByteDance offers a very similar app called Douyin, with the same logo and branding as TikTok, in China. According to the FT, it would retain a minority stake in TikTok under the deal being discussed.

TikTok declined to comment on Thursday on a possible sale to US investors, and referred to an announcement earlier this month that ByteDance is weighing changes to its corporate structure. The Wall Street Journal reported at the time that such changes could include establishing a headquarters for the video app outside of China, or a new management board.

“We are very confident in the long-term success of TikTok and will make our plans public when we have something to announce,” a TikTok spokesperson said in a statement on Thursday.

General Atlantic and Sequoia declined to comment.

TikTok has been trying to distance itself from its Beijing-based owner for months.

TikTok hired Disney (DIS) veteran Kevin Mayer as CEO in May. Its main office is in Los Angeles County, and it has offices in London, Paris, Berlin, Dubai, Mumbai, Singapore, Jakarta, Seoul and Tokyo.

But for ByteDance to sell TikTok the only major social media app created by a Chinese company to gain significant traction globally  would be a big move. And it still might not be enough to alleviate concerns in Washington, where lawmakers and US officials allege TikTok poses a national security threat because it could be used as a spying tool by Beijing. TikTok has denied those allegations, according to CNN.

 

 

TikTok to be sold to American investors to avoid US ban

 

 

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