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Kevin O'Leary Wants to Buy TikTok — But Says It's Worth Much Less Than Last Year's Valuation: 'I'm Going to Put Up My Hand and Say I'll Buy It' The O'Leary Ventures Chairman might be jumping into the shark tank.

By Emily Rella

entrepreneur daily

O'Leary Ventures Chairman and "Shark Tank" star Kevin O'Leary wants to make an offer on TikTok.

"It's the largest entertainment and business network in America as it stands today, so it's of great interest and great value," O'Leary said.

Still, it's not technically up for sale, yet.

Earlier this month, a bipartisan bill called the "Protecting Americans from Foreign Adversary Controlled Applications Act" passed 352-65 in the House, which would require TikTok to separate from Chinese-operated ByteDance within six months or be banned from usage in the U.S.

The bill is now with the Senate where its fate remains unclear.

O'Leary hinted that he would be interested in purchasing the platform with other parties, though he did not specify more details. Earlier this month, he told Fox & Friends: "If this order goes through, it's got to be sold. I'm going to put up my hand and say I'll buy it."

Appearing on CNBC's "Street Signs Asia" last week, O'Leary said that TikTok, which is owned by Chinese-based ByteDance, is now worth between $20 billion to $30 billion — a 90% decrease in valuation from its 2023 valuation at around $230 billion.

Related: Is TikTok Getting Banned In the U.S.? Here's What We Know So Far

O'Leary noted the app could be worth much less than its previous valuation if sold to a U.S.-based owner because he suspects the user data that helps drive the TikTok algorithm won't be included in the deal.

"The algorithm is where you serve up the videos, the preferences, and the purchase behavior for the last few years, it's very valuable," he explained. "Really what you're getting is the brand TikTok domestically, which is valuable, and 170 million users with no data."

For the app to find the same success under new ownership, the algorithm would need to be reprogrammed and formulated, O'Leary said.

Last Spring, TikTok's CEO Shou Zi Chew testified in front of Congress to discuss concerns with privacy and data storage issues on the app. He also testified again earlier this year testified again alongside other major tech leaders (including Meta's Mark Zuckerberg and X's Linda Yaccarino).

Related: TikTok's CEO Is an Honorary Chair at the 2024 Met Gala

As of Monday morning, O'Leary's net worth was an estimated $400 million.

Emily Rella

Entrepreneur Staff

Senior News Writer

Emily Rella is a Senior News Writer at Previously, she was an editor at Verizon Media. Her coverage spans features, business, lifestyle, tech, entertainment, and lifestyle. She is a 2015 graduate of Boston College and a Ridgefield, CT native. Find her on Twitter at @EmilyKRella.

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