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Bidding Race For TikTok’s U.S. Business Heats Up With Bold “People-Powered” Vision

The bidding for TikTok’s U.S. operations intensifies as billionaire businessman Frank McCourt announces plans to create a consortium to purchase the popular platform. McCourt, formerly the owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers, is organizing the bid in consultation with investment bank Guggenheim Securities, his Project Liberty initiative announced

If successful in acquiring TikTok’s U.S. business, McCourt aims to restructure the platform by migrating it to an open-source protocol, the announcement reads. This move would grant users more control over their digital identities and data through increased transparency. The billionaire’s vision is to “rearchitect the platform to put people in control of their digital identities and data.”

Although he does not personally use TikTok, his business and internet-focused efforts engage with the platform. The bid extends his long-standing interest in remaking the internet with robust data privacy protections. “We thought this was a really fantastic opportunity to accelerate the creation of an alternative internet,” McCourt told The Associated Press.

Notable social psychologist Jonathan Haidt, author of “The Anxious Generation,” supports the businessman’s efforts as an opportunity to create an alternative internet model. “[McCourt’s] vision for TikTok, redesigned for healthier dynamics, is the type of innovative solution needed to move ahead in the digital age,” Haidt said in the announcement.

Other potential buyers eyeing TikTok’s U.S. operations include former U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. However, TikTok’s Chinese parent company, ByteDance, has stated it does not plan to sell the platform amid doubts the Chinese government would approve such a transaction involving the algorithms powering TikTok’s content recommendation system.

McCourt told AP he is uninterested in TikTok’s existing algorithm because its “top-down” structure conflicts with his vision of community-driven content curation. He remains confident ByteDance will eventually sell TikTok’s U.S. business to comply with recent American legislation mandating the divestment.

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David Adler is an entrepreneur and freelance blog post writer who enjoys writing about business, entrepreneurship, travel and the influencer marketing space.

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