A former White House official has announced his interest in buying TikTok.

On March 13, 2024, the House of Representatives passed the Protecting Americans from Foreign Adversary Controlled Applications Act. As previously shared by AFROTECH™, the bill is focused on TikTok and its China-based parent company ByteDance and was created to “protect the national security of the United States from the threat posed by foreign adversary controlled applications.” What’s more, if the bill is passed by the Senate and President Joe Biden as well as signed into law, ByteDance will be required to sell TikTok within 180 days. If not, it would be banned in the U.S.

Amid the controversy around the potential status of TikTok’s future, CNBC reports that Steven Mnuchin, former treasury secretary for former President Donald Trump, is working to gather an investor group to purchase the app. 

“I think the legislation should pass — I think it should be sold,” Mnuchin said, according to CNBC. “I understand the technology, it’s a great business, and I’m going to put together a group to buy TikTok.”

He added, “This should 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.”

While Mnuchin has yet to share who the fellow investors would be (as of this writing), the announcement comes at a time when he is the founder and managing partner of Liberty Strategic Capital, a private equity firm focused on technology, fintech, and new content platforms. The outlet notes there is a connection Liberty Strategic Capital and ByteDance share, and that is Masa Son’s SoftBank Vision Fund. The Fund is a limited partner in Mnuchin’s firm and invested in ByteDance in 2018.

Nonetheless, the outlet also shares that “it remains unclear if the Chinese government would permit ByteDance to sell TikTok to a U.S. buyer,” and Shou Zi, the CEO of the company, “has implied that a sale is not an option.”