Who could buy TikTok? These are the people who could acquire the app

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Interested TikTok buyers are opening to circle aft nan House passed a measure Wednesday that could unit a waste of, aliases ban, nan app if signed into law.

The Protecting Americans From Foreign Adversary Controlled Applications Act passed 352-65. Lawmakers expressed concerns that nan Chinese authorities could usage TikTok to dispersed misinformation and manipulate American users. Many emphasized that they were not trying to prohibition TikTok outright, though galore of nan app’s 170 cardinal American users were not convinced. 

If nan Senate passes nan bill and President Joe Biden signs it into law, ByteDance, TikTok's China-based genitor company, would person to waste nan app to an American institution wrong six months. Otherwise, TikTok could beryllium banned successful nan U.S.

While immoderate critics person said that nan timeline is unrealistic, immoderate high-profile investors person expressed liking successful acquiring nan app. Here are nan imaginable buyers truthful acold successful a imaginable TikTok waste — and a primer connected companies that person antecedently tried.

Former Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin

Steven Mnuchin, an finance banker who served arsenic treasury caput nether President Donald Trump, said he was getting a group of investors together to perchance bargain TikTok, though he did not specify who. He besides did not stock a imaginable valuation for nan app.

“I deliberation nan authorities should walk and I deliberation it should beryllium sold,” Mnuchin told CNBC’s “Squawk Box” connected Thursday. “This needs to beryllium controlled by U.S. business.”

Mnuchin did not instantly respond to a petition for comment. 


Rumble, an online video level that is celebrated among conservatives, shared a statement from its CEO, Chris Pavlovski, connected X connected Tuesday. Pavlovski addressed TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew and offered to “join a consortium pinch different parties seeking to get and run TikTok wrong nan United States.” It’s unclear which “other parties” would beryllium progressive successful nan acquisition.

In January, Wired reported that Rumble was portion of an investigation by nan Securities and Exchange Commission. In a connection to nan publication, Rumble spokesperson Rory Rumore said nan institution voluntarily responded to an SEC petition for documents and advised group to debar “jumping to mendacious conclusions astir matters related to Rumble.” 

In February, Pavlovski published a missive to X he said was from nan SEC saying that nan investigation had concluded and that nan agency was not readying connected taking immoderate enforcement action against nan company.

When asked for remark connected a imaginable TikTok acquisition and nan SEC investigation, a Rumble spokesperson referred NBC News to Pavlovski's erstwhile statements connected nan issues posted to X.

Rumble has high-profile investors including Peter Thiel and Sen. J.D. Vance, R-Ohio.

Former Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick

Bobby Kotick stepped down from his role astatine Activision Blizzard successful December. Now, he is purportedly seeking partners to subordinate him successful a imaginable acquisition of TikTok, according to The Wall Street Journal, which cited unnamed sources. The publication reported that Kotick has expressed his liking successful buying TikTok to ByteDance co-founder Zhang Yiming and OpenAI CEO Sam Altman.

NBC News has not independently verified Kotick’s liking successful TikTok. Kotick did not instantly respond to a petition for comment.

Kevin O’Leary 

“Shark Tank” investor and businessman Kevin O’Leary said successful an question and reply pinch Fox News that TikTok is “not going to get banned 'cause I’m going to bargain it.”

O’Leary posted nan question and reply to his ain TikTok account. He besides said Meta and Google won’t bargain nan app, citing regulatory concerns.

“A syndicate will beryllium formed. I’d for illustration to beryllium involved, obviously,” he said.

O’Leary said he believes that Chinese investors should support 20% of nan caller institution and that it should person an American CEO and committee and American servers. New American TikTok information has been stored successful Austin, Texas-based Oracle’s unreality infrastructure as of 2022.

O’Leary said that TikTok is “worth billions.” He called it “one of nan astir successful advertizing platforms successful societal media today.” 

Representatives for O’Leary did not instantly respond to a petition for comment. 

Previously willing buyers

During erstwhile attempts by nan U.S. authorities to unit a waste of TikTok, different companies were reportedly successful talks pinch ByteDance to get nan app’s U.S. operations.

When Trump threatened to prohibition nan app successful 2020, Microsoft said it was “committed to acquiring TikTok taxable to a complete information reappraisal and providing due economical benefits to nan United States, including nan United States Treasury,” according to an NBC News study astatine nan time. The study besides said that Microsoft would bargain TikTok operations successful Canada, Australia and New Zealand arsenic portion of nan deal. Microsoft did not instantly respond to a petition for comment.

The woody yet fell through arsenic Oracle was selected to perchance oversee TikTok’s U.S. operations and personification data. NBC News antecedently reported that Oracle would person operational power complete nan app successful nan U.S. while ByteDance would clasp mostly ownership complete TikTok. Walmart past joined Oracle successful offering to put successful TikTok. But nan waste was put connected hold erstwhile nan Biden management took over. Neither Oracle nor Walmart instantly responded to a petition for comment.

Oracle has hosted American TikTok information connected its servers since 2022.

Daysia Tolentino

Daysia Tolentino is simply a civilization and trends newsman for NBC News.