If you can’t beat ’em, buy ’em.
That appears to the thinking of Triller, a U.S.-based “social streaming” app, which according to Bloomberg teamed up with an asset management firm in an attempt to buy TikTok for $20 billion. Or, more specifically, to buy parts of TikTok for $20 billion.
Those parts include TikTok’s U.S., Australian, New Zealand, and Indian components — locations where the ByteDance-owned company ran into various legal troubles, faced security concerns, and risks possible shuttering. India went so far as to ban TikTok outright in June for “[engaging] in activities which is prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order.”
Triller, perhaps smelling blood in the water, joins the ever-growing list of U.S. companies trying to get a piece of TikTok’s huge social media market share. As of the time of this writing, Microsoft, Twitter, Oracle, and Walmart have all reportedly expressed interest in buying TikTok’s U.S. assets.
In August, TikTok revealed that it has approximately 100 million monthly active users in the U.S.
We reached out to TikTok, Triller, and the asset management fund in question, Centricus, both in an effort to confirm Bloomberg’s reporting and to learn if TikTok had responded to an offer. Neither Triller nor Centricus responded, and a TikTok spokesperson merely pointed us to previous news coverage.
A Centricus spokesperson reportedly confirmed to Bloomberg that the company had made an offer. A Reuters report from Friday claims TikTok denies knowledge of any offer.
Bloomberg was able to wrangle a more interesting comment from a TikTok spokesperson, however, who suggested the entire thing wasn’t even worth the company’s time.
“What’s Triller?” the spokesperson reportedly replied.
Such a response suggests that if Triller does end up buying TikTok’s U.S. assets, it won’t be because TikTok viewed the deal as a match made in digital heaven.