The popular social media app TikTok may be inching closer to sale, Bloomberg reports.
What’s going on: TikTok’s parent company ByteDance is considering selling the app due to concerns raised by federal regulators, who question whether TikTok is helping spread Chinese propaganda and surveilling United States users.
- Sources told Bloomberg that advisers have told ByteDance to battle the regulators with a legal defense. Others suggest selling the app completely.
- TikTok would sell for more than $10 billion, according to Bloomberg.
ByteDance has considered selling a chunk of TikTok if necessary to protect the value of the business, the people said. The most likely sale scenario would be for the company to sell a majority stake to financial investors, one person said. Earlier investors include SoftBank Group Corp., Sequoia Capital and Susquehanna International Group.
Yes, but: ByteDance denied the story’s validity, saying it was “completely meritless,” according to The Verge.
- TikTok chief Alex Zhu in a statement (via Reuters): “We have had no discussions with potential buyers of TikTok, nor do we have any intention to.”
What it means: Per The Verge, “Bloomberg’s wording leaves open the possibility that ByteDance has held discussions with advisers about contingency plans, including a partial sale, but decided not to pursue it at the moment.”
More controversy: TikTok has raised concerns among federal lawmakers and regulators for the last few months. ByteDance, the app’s owner, is based in Beijing, which has led to fears from lawmakers that the app could be trying to influence Americans, according to my report for the Deseret News.
- The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States has called for an investigation into whether TikTok is collecting data and how it’s sharing the data, according to the Deseret News.