TikTok’s Potential Buyers

Estimated read time 2 min read
  • ByteDance can avert a so-called TikTok ban in the US by selling the platform to a US-based entity. 
  • Finding a buyer won’t be easy due to TikTok’s value and the intervention of the Chinese government.
  • But there are still people throwing their hat in the ring. Here’s a look at who has expressed interest.

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Buyers are beginning to raise their hands for what might be one the biggest and most geopolitically tensesales in recent history.

The US House of Representatives passed a bipartisan bill this week that would essentially ban TikTok in the United States unless its parent company, ByteDance, can find a US-based buyer within six months of the bill becoming law.

While the legislation still needs to pass the Senate and President Joe Biden still needs to sign it, all indications are that it will likely pass.

The wildly popular social media platform’s US business is worth somewhere between $35 to $40 billion, which means that finding a buyer whose pockets are deep enough isn’t going to be easy. And with over 170 million users in the United States alone, any tech giant that foots the bill — since companies like Meta, Google, and Microsoft might be the only ones with the funds — will likely run into antitrust concerns.

And even if the bill goes through, TikTok appears to be gearing up for a legal battle. It is already mobilizing users to call their local representatives to express their opposition.

It’s also possible that the Chinese government will intervene.

When lawmakers in Washington called for a sale of TikTok back in 2020, China’s commerce ministry said the government would need to sign off, according to The New York Times. China’s then foreign minister, Wang Wenbin, also said the United States was “resorting to hegemonic moves when one could not succeed in fair competition.”

So the prospect that TikTok will be transferred to a US entity remains theoretical at best.

But that hasn’t stopped a handful of people from publicly expressing their interest in buying the platform. Here’s a rundown of everyone who is so far vying to be TikTok’s next owner.