Earlier reports said ByteDance may be seeking to resell TikTok’s shares as the U.S. investigation deepens and preliminary talks are ongoing. However, according to company director Alex Zhu in an internal company letter, some false information may be seen in the media, and Bloomberg’s reports are not accurate. It added: ‘The company has not consulted with potential buyers and management has no intention of doing so. “These rumors are baseless,” a representative for TikTok told Bloomberg.
(Image via TheVerge)
Earlier, some senators warned of a possible security threat to the app. Bloomberg reported that advisers to ByteDance executives have advised them to take an aggressive legal defense to spread and even sell their majority stakes.
In this way, the company can maintain its image as a security threat to U.S. officials. As the app’s heat continues to rise, however, ByteDance is clearly reluctant to give up full control of TikTok.
The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) is looking into ByteDance’s $1 billion acquisition of Musical.ly in 2017 and has a survey to determine whether it must divest Musical.ly assets, even if it is a foundation for building the TikTok platform.
Reuters reported that CFIUS has begun to raise questions and may recommend that TikTok take steps to “avoid divesting its acquired Musical.ly assets.” As for the stakes behind it, it may be the result of a tense relationship between China and the United States.
Alex Zhu added: ‘The company did not discuss it with potential buyers and management had no intention of doing so. Yet some senators, represented by Marco Rubio, have used their alleged collection of user data and other pretexts in an attempt to intervene harshly in market behavior.
ByteDance is also trying to remove barriers through initiatives such as working with more U.S. groups.
Including the hiring of an independent U.S. law firm in October to oversee TikTok’s content review practices, and another U.S. company hired to review the security measures it has adopted.
It turned out that there were no violations such as the transfer of user data out during the investigation. Whether these efforts can change the U.S. view of Chinese-backed technology companies is intriguing.