Former US Treasury Secretary Mnuchin prepares TikTok buyout

Former US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said he is assembling a team of investors to buy TikTok from its Chinese owners, AFP reports.

The US House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved a bill that would force TikTok to separate from its parent company or be banned nationwide.

Mnuchin said he strongly supports the bill, which must now be approved by the Senate.

US President Joe Biden supports the bill and has promised to sign it if passed.

"I think the bill should be passed and I believe (TikTok) should be sold," Mnuchin told CNBC.

Mnuchin, who was former President Donald Trump's Treasury secretary for four years, said TikTok is "a great business and I'm going to put together a group to buy" the troubled app.

"It should be owned by American businesses. There's no way the Chinese would ever allow an American company to own something like this in China," Mnuchin said.

Earlier, a Chinese commerce ministry official said the US should "stop unfairly suppressing foreign companies" and take "all necessary measures to resolutely safeguard its legitimate rights and interests".

Another official in Beijing said the US was "following the logic of a bandit" with the law. / BGNES