TikTok Needs A New Owner

April 25, 2024 – The clock has begun ticking for TikTok to find a new owner. TikTok is a short-form video hosting service owned by Chinese internet company ByteDance.

President Joe Biden signed legislation Wednesday that would ban TikTok in the United States unless its Chinese parent, ByteDance, sells the app. The bill was signed into law by President Joe Biden on April 24, 2024, giving ByteDance until January 19, 2025 to divest TikTok. TikTok plans to challenge the law in court, but if it fails, the company would have to find a buyer, and fast.

That raises the question of who the US government might view as a suitable new owner of a social media platform with 170 million US users and a rising challenger to legacy social media giants such as Facebook-parent Meta.

The prospect of a TikTok sale could lead to a potential feeding frenzy, drawing out everyone from tech companies to retailers and private equity firms and investment bankers.

And an added headache for any potential buyer: China’s commerce ministry has previously said it would “firmly oppose” any forced sale of TikTok.

There’s no apparent consensus on a favorite bidder yet. But some candidates seem more likely than others, legal experts and business analysts say.

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