Triller Inc’s Bobby Sarnevesht has stated that the short-video app he chair’s had created a $20 billion deal with investment company Centricus Asset Management to acquire the resources of rival TikTok.
ByteDance and TikTok refused knowledge of the offer, raising questions over whether the proposed deal between two of the most popular social media programs in the United States represented a serious bid or was a publicity stunt.
ByteDance was ordered by President Trump to divest TikTok from the US, amid security concerns over the private data it manages.
Microsoft Corp and Oracle Corp are just two of the US-based businesses vying to acquire the assets of TikTok, which claims about 100 million monthly active users from the United States. The Chinese company is expected to select a bidder to enter into exclusive talks soon.
“We submitted an offer directly to the chairman of ByteDance through Centricus, and have confirmation it was received and is under consideration by him,” Sarnevesht told journalists at our partner news agency Reuters.
Bloomberg News reported on the bidding before on Friday.
A TikTok spokesman stated Centricus and Triller had not contacted the company about an offer.
Sarnevesht said this was because TikTok was not involved in the talks, including that Triller and Centricus were dealing straight with ByteDance chairman Zhang Yiming.
ByteDance, however, said it was likewise unaware of the offer from Triller and Centricus.
“The company has not had any conversations with them and we are unaware of any interest,” ByteDance stated in a statement.
The proposed $20 billion bid will be financed by Centricus, together with Triller executives running TikTok should their bidding predominate, according to a person familiar with all the fiscal specifics, who sought anonymity.
It was not immediately clear, however, if Centricus, with $27 billion in funds according to its website, could muster the resources for such a bid.
The London-based company didn’t respond to a request for comment.
“We understand our offer is upsetting to some TikTok US executives, as it upsets a deal that may be more favourable to them and less favourable to the shareholders,” Sarnevesht stated in his statement.
“They are doing everything they can to discredit our offer and keep it from being seen as real.”
Triller boasts 65 million monthly active users, versus TikTok’s 100 million from the US. Triller searched a $1.25 billion valuation in a personal fundraising throughout this month.
While TikTok is best known for its videos of teenagers dancing and making short fun videos, US officials also have expressed concern that consumer info could be passed to China’s communist government.
Trump, a prolific user of social networking, combined Triller this past month.
“We’ve gotten assurances from people close to the White House that this is something that the administration would favour,” Sarnevesht explained.
“All we need TikTok to do is to give us their user data and the content, and the Triller platform can handle it.”
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The team at Platform Executive hope you have enjoyed this news article. Initial reporting via our official content partners at Thomson Reuters. Reporting by Echo Wang in New York. Editing by Clarence Fernandez.
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