Kevin O’Leary is Willing to Buy Tiktok If the Ban Legislation Continues

As the deadline looms for lawmakers to decide on potential legislative actions against the China-owned app TikTok, prominent entrepreneur Kevin O’Leary has stepped forward with an offer to acquire the platform and relocate its operations to the United States.

Speaking on “Fox & Friends” on Monday morning, O’Leary, Chairman of O’Leary Ventures and renowned “Shark Tank” star, expressed his intention to purchase TikTok in the event of an order mandating its sale.

His proposal entails establishing a new American company to oversee TikTok’s operations, ensuring that its servers are situated on U.S. soil, and eliminating any potential security vulnerabilities embedded in its code.

The legislative action in question, set for a House of Representatives vote on Wednesday after receiving unanimous approval from a bipartisan committee, seeks to compel TikTok’s parent company ByteDance to divest all its applications within 180 days or face a ban on their usage. Additionally, it aims to institute a framework for the executive branch to prohibit applications deemed as security risks in the future.

Amidst bipartisan support for the bill, TikTok users received a message from the app’s team urging them to engage with local lawmakers and voice their concerns regarding the potential loss of their freedom of expression.

O’Leary emphasized his willingness to collaborate with both Republican and Democratic legislators who support the bill, outlining a transitional period of 18 months for TikTok under his ownership. He also proposed leaving a minority stake with Chinese investors in a passive capacity to address concerns around free speech, with no control over the company’s operations.

President Joe Biden has signaled his readiness to sign the bipartisan legislation, affirming his commitment to safeguarding Americans from potential threats posed by foreign-controlled applications like TikTok.

Addressing queries regarding the financial arrangements, O’Leary expressed approval of the congressional board’s decision to forego profit-sharing with ByteDance. He further underscored the need to ensure TikTok’s safety for American users.

In response to allegations of suppressing anti-China views on TikTok, Senator Ted Cruz demanded accountability from TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew, highlighting disparities in content searches related to Taylor Swift and Tiananmen Square.

Regarding the broader geopolitical context, O’Leary acknowledged the intertwined nature of business relationships between China and the U.S., proposing a cooperative approach to resolve the TikTok issue.

To execute the acquisition, O’Leary envisaged forming a consortium comprising American and sovereign wealth funds, subject to approval from the House committee overseeing the matter.

He emphasized his commitment to ensuring the platform’s safety for American users, devoid of any ulterior motives beyond promoting small business interests and fostering a secure digital environment.

Josh Alba
Josh Alba
Josh Alba stands at the forefront of contemporary business journalism, his words weaving narratives that illuminate the intricate workings of the corporate world. With a keen eye for detail and a penchant for uncovering the underlying stories behind financial trends, Josh has established himself as a trusted authority in business writing. Drawing from his wealth of experience and relentless pursuit of truth, Josh delivers insights that resonate with readers across industries.
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