Former Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin Interested in Buying TikTok

Former Secretary of the U.S. Treasury Steven Mnuchin has expressed an interest in buying the social media app TikTok if its parent company is forced to sell it under a new bill passed in Congress.

According to Axios, Mnuchin has begun recruiting a group of investors to pool their resources together for a potential buyout. Mnuchin is one of several prominent financial figures who has suggested a possible purchase of TikTok following the passage of a bipartisan bill in the U.S. House of Representatives, which would force TikTok’s Chinese parent company, ByteDance, to either sell TikTok within 180 days or else face a complete ban from further operation in the United States.

I think the legislation should pass and I think it should be sold,” said Mnuchin on Thursday. “It’s a great business and I’m going to put together a group to buy TikTok.” Mnuchin later clarified that, if his plan succeeds, no single investor will own more than 10% of TikTok shares, and existing investors would first be given the option to rollover their stakes.

“This should be owned by U.S. businesses,” Mnuchin continued. “There’s no way that the Chinese would ever let a U.S. company own something like this in China.”

TikTok has long drawn scrutiny and criticism from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle. Republicans have expressed concern about TikTok being owned by a company with direct ties to the ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP), thus presenting a potential national security threat. Democrats, meanwhile, have focused on TikTok’s failure to protect the privacy of its individual users, putting its userbase – consisting primarily of children – at risk of data breaches.

The bill was approved unanimously in a committee vote, and subsequently passed the House with overwhelming support, with 352 members voting in favor and just 65 voting against. The bill now goes to the Senate, and Joe Biden has stated that he will sign it into law if it reaches his desk.

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About Eric Lendrum

Eric Lendrum graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he was the Secretary of the College Republicans and the founding chairman of the school’s Young Americans for Freedom chapter. He has interned for Young America’s Foundation, the Heritage Foundation, and the White House, and has worked for numerous campaigns including the 2018 re-election of Congressman Devin Nunes (CA-22). He is currently a co-host of The Right Take podcast.

Photo: Former US Secretary of Treasury Steven Mnuchin, speaks during the Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills, California on May 2, 2023. (Photo by Patrick T. Fallon / AFP) (Photo by PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images)