Mnuchin Claims He Wants to Form a Group to Buy TikTok

( – Following the passing of a bill in the House that would force TikTok’s Chinese parent company to divest or otherwise be banned from the US, former Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin has declared his plans to purchase the social media app. Mnuchin, who occupied the Treasury Secretary role under Donald Trump’s presidency, told the press on Thursday, March 14, that he was in the process of putting together a group of possible investors in order to make the purchase.

The bill has so far proved popular, passing through the House with a majority of 352 – 65, and if passed by the Senate and signed into law, would give parent company ByteDance 165 days to divest from TikTok or else be banned from US web services and app stores. The bill is titled, “Protecting Americans from Foreign Adversary Controlled Applications Act” and is heavily favored by the White House.

Mnuchin, a staunch supporter of the bill, argued that the Chinese government would never allow a US company to have a similar app in their country. Others in favor of the bill have cited security concerns due to the possibility of the app being used to hand American user data to Chinese authorities. Mnuchin’s former boss, however, has voiced strong opposition to the bill. Former President Trump said that the bill would serve to help CEO of Meta, Mark Zuckerberg, by banning his social media rival, TikTok. The social media site Facebook, which Trump has been banned from due to his claim that the 2020 elections were rigged, is a part of Meta.

A TikTok spokesperson claimed that the bill was an “outright ban” of TikTok and would violate the First Amendment rights of Americans, as well as harming small businesses across the country by removing a large audience of potential customers they could otherwise reach via the app. TikTok has also promised that it does not share user data with the Chinese government, but this has not assuaged the fears of the bill’s proponents, amongst them the Republican Chair of the House Representative’s select China committee, Mike Gallagher. Gallagher issued a statement upon the bill’s introduction warning TikTok to “break up” with the Chinese Communist Party or face a US ban.

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