Canadian businessman Kevin O’Leary is attempting to stitch a syndicate for a potential purchase of social media platform TikTok. The starting bid could be around $20 billion to $30 billion- a 90% cut in valuation from the company’s last funding round. The deal would exclude user preference-based algorithms that have helped in making TikTok successful, Kevin O’Leary said, adding, “It’s the largest entertainment and business network in America as it stands today, so it’s of great interest and great value.”

The TikTok logo is displayed on a smartphone screen in Tokyo, Japan. (AP)

Kevin O’Leary asserted, “This is the most complex deal ever in social media, and I have to build a new algorithm. It’s a very interesting deal, and I like it.”

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Why Kevin O’Leary sees a valuation cut in Tiktok?

But the Chinese government may not sell the algorithms, “so what you’re getting is the valuable domestic brand TikTok and 170 million users, with no data,” he said. This means that any buyer will have to “re-emulate” these algorithms with US code and act as a “steward” to change the platform from “TikTok China to TikTok USA”, he said. This is why he sees a valuation cut in the platform. 

Could TikTok be banned in the US?

This comes as US House of Representatives voted in favor of a bill which could force TikTok-owner ByteDance to either divest or face ban. Although, this legislation is yet to reach the US Senate. 

On the ban, Kevin O’Leary said that there is at least a 50% chance of it being put in place and a forced sale of the social media giant early next year is also possible. He also said that he has discussed the matter with Republican presumptive presidential nominee Donald Trump. The businessman also plans to meet US incumbent president Joe Biden who is seeking a second term.

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