Steven Mnuchin Reveals He’s Planning to Buy TikTok: ‘A Great Business’

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Former Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Thursday morning that he is planning on forming a group of investors to purchase TikTok, calling it “a great business.”

His comments to CNBC’s SquawkBox a day after the House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed a bill to ban the Chinese social media platform in the U.S. if its owner, ByteDance, does not sell it.

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

Lawmakers across the political spectrum have raised concerns about potential national security threats that the app poses to the U.S. TikTok claims to have 170 million users in America—more than half the population of the country—potentially giving Beijing an extraordinarily powerful tool for surveillance or political manipulation, its critics say.

TikTok, for its own part, has staunchly opposed the bipartisan bill forcing a sale, and it remains uncertain if the Chinese government would allow a U.S. buyer to take control of the company.

The legislation also faces an uncertain fate in the Senate, though President Joe Biden said earlier this month he would sign the legislation if it makes it to his desk.