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Former US Sec, Mnuchin eyes TikTok purchase amid legislative pressure 

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Steven Mnuchin

Former U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has revealed plans to assemble an investor consortium to acquire TikTok, following a legislative push in the House of Representatives to ban the popular video-sharing platform unless its China-based parent company divests its stake. 

Speaking on CNBC’s “Squawk Box,” Mnuchin emphasized the necessity of TikTok to be owned by U.S. businesses.

There’s no way that the Chinese would ever let a U.S. company own something like this in China,” said Mnuchin.  

His remarks come after heightened scrutiny over TikTok’s ownership structure and its implications for national security. 

While Mnuchin did not disclose further details about the prospective investor group or TikTok’s valuation, his announcement shows growing bipartisan concerns about the platform’s ties to China. 

The House bill, passed by a resounding margin of 352-65, underscores the bipartisan consensus on the need to address potential national security risks posed by TikTok’s ownership.

The legislation, now pending in the Senate, signals a willingness to take decisive action to safeguard sensitive data and protect national interests. 

TikTok’s fate hangs in the balance as lawmakers weigh the merits of the proposed ban against potential legal and regulatory challenges.

President Joe Biden has signalled his support for the bill, pledging to sign it into law if it clears Congress. 

The legislative push comes amid ongoing debates over the platform’s data privacy practices and its alleged susceptibility to exploitation by the Chinese government.

Despite TikTok’s assurances to the contrary, concerns persist about the potential misuse of user data and the platform’s susceptibility to external influence. 

While Mnuchin’s proposed acquisition could offer a potential solution to the TikTok conundrum, significant challenges lie ahead.  

As the legislative process unfolds, stakeholders are closely monitoring developments, mindful of the implications for data privacy, national security, and U.S.-China relations.

The outcome of the legislative debate will shape the future of TikTok and determine its role in the digital landscape.

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