Bloomberg is reporting that TikTok-rival Triller and Centricus (a London-based global investment firm) are the latest suitors looking to buy TikTok’s US business with a $20 billion bid, joining Oracle and a recently combined Microsoft / Walmart effort to acquire the popular short-form video application. But a spokesperson for TikTok tells Reuters it has not received an offer, or been contacted about a potential bid.
As originally described by Bloomberg’s source, a Triller/Centricus offer would see Centricus pay TikTok parent company ByteDance $10 billion in cash upfront, and another $10 billion in shared profit for ownership over TikTok’s assets in the US, Australia, New Zealand, and India. Triller — which already operates a similar service to TikTok, and presumably would help Centricus actually run a social video application after the purchase — would have a minority stake in the venture.
It’s not clear TikTok has simply not received this bid yet, or whether it doesn’t actually exist. Reuters did not get immediate replies from Triller and Centricus. We’re emailing contacts for each company now.
TikTok’s fate has been up in the air ever since President Donald Trump issued an executive order demanding that its parent company ByteDance either sell or spin off the US portions of the company, citing national security concerns from the China-based company. (President Trump is apparently a bigger fan of Triller, with Trump opening an account on the service earlier in August.)
In the weeks since, multiple companies have expressed an interest in purchasing TikTok’s assets, with Microsoft as an early frontrunner, followed by enterprise software giant Oracle, both of which are still in active negotiations with ByteDance. Microsoft has since announced an unexpected partnership with Walmart to purchase TikTok’s assets. Twitter and Netflix have also reportedly had discussions over a potential purchase, although it’s not clear whether either of them are still in contention, while Alphabet and Google CEO Sundar Pichai has confirmed that his company isn’t in the running.
Update, 7:42 PM ET: Added Reuters report that suggests this bid has not been made.