- Some US investors of Chinese tech giant Bytedance are considering buying a majority stake in TikTok, according to an Information report.
- A decision has not been made yet. The US investors involved in the deal could possibly include Sequoia Capital, a famed Silicon Valley venture firm.
- The report comes as Bytedance continues to prepare for a potential US ban on the popular video-sharing app that has played a part in strained US-China relations.
- Other scenarios, such as TikTok spinning out of Bytedance and operating as its own US firm, are also being considered.
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Some US investors of Chinese tech behemoth Bytedance are mulling over whether or not to buy control of subsidiary company TikTok, according to a report from The Information.
The small group of investors is discussing such a move with ByteDance’s top officials, per the report. The US investors involved in the deal could include General Atlantic and Sequoia Capital, the latter of which has backed the likes of Apple, Google, and PayPal. Per a previous Information report, Bytedance founder and CEO Zhang Yiming has said he wouldn’t be opposed to such a sale.
The report comes as TikTok’s parent company continues to grapple with how to handle security concerns of the ultra-popular app, as ties between China and the US grow increasingly tense. The ubiquity of a China-owned app in the US has rattled lawmakers and called into question how accessible user data is to the Chinese government.
The House of Representatives has voted to ban the app from all federally-issued devices. President Trump and other government officials have also considered a broader ban on the app in the US altogether, as India has done. Yet another option, as White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow suggested last Thursday, would be for TikTok to spin out of Bytedance and stand as its own independent US firm to stave off jitters surrounding the company’s China connections. As the Information notes, Bytedance could also sell TikTok to a US firm, though its sale to a competing tech company – such as Snap – could raise additional antitrust concerns of big tech.
TikTok is slated to add 10,000 employees to its US workforce over the next three years, according to an Axios report on Tuesday.
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