Video sharing platform TikTok could change ownership in the coming months. According to a new report, ByteDance, the owner of the platform is considering selling the platform. The company is considering such a drastic move to address the concerns that US law-makers have raised in recent weeks. Taking a look back, some US lawmakers have raised calls to investigate the popular platform over national security concerns. They are concerned about how ByteDance handles the user data of the American users. In addition, they are also concerned about the censorship of content that criticizes the Chinese government.
TikTok facing problems in the United States
The calls for an investigation have grown over time as the US-China trade war intensified over time. Given that TikTok is based out of Beijing has not helped ByteDance. According to a report from Bloomberg, the company is currently considering everything from an aggressive legal defense to optional separation. As part of the separation, the company is willing to sell its majority stake in the app. This could likely bring more than $10 billion to the company in terms of the capital. The report also noted that the popularity of TikTok has sky-rocketed in the last two years. This has helped ByteDance gain the title of the most valuable startup in the world.
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Talking more about the option to sell the app, the company may sell its sake to its financial investors. The list of early investors in the app include SoftBank, Sequoia Capital, and Susquehanna International. This move could help ByteDance cash in while avoiding a government-backed investigation. It is worth noting that the US Army already launched an investigation in the app on November 21, 2019.
The US Army claims that TikTok puts “military information and practices” at risk from the way it handles its user data. Committee on Foreign Investment in the US or CFIUS also started a review of the ByteDance acquisition form 2017. For context, ByteDance acquired Musical.ly back in 2017 and later rebranded it to TikTok.