Microsoft confirms TikTok acquisition talks

Microsoft has confirmed that it will be continuing to hold discussions over the possible acquisition of part of TikTok’s business, after the company’s CEO, Satya Nadella, personally talked over the potential deal with President Donald Trump.

There has been much speculation about the intentions of several countries to ban the popular short-form video app over security concerns in recent weeks and months. In a bid to prevent that from happening, Microsoft has entered into talks with TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, about buying its US, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand businesses.

“This new structure would build on the experience TikTok users currently love, while adding world-class security, privacy, and digital safety protections. The operating model for the service would be built to ensure transparency to users as well as appropriate security oversight by governments in these countries,” said Microsoft in a blog post. “Among other measures, Microsoft would ensure that all private data of TikTok’s American users is transferred to and remains in the United States.”

Microsoft and ByteDance have provided a notification to the Committee on Foreign Investment in the US (CFIUS) about their discussions. Microsoft is also exploring the possibility of inviting other US investors to take up minority stakes in any purchase.

The US government will continue to be a part of the discussions, with a hope of coming to a resolution with ByteDance by 15 September 2020.

There may also be least one other major company interested in picking up TikTok’s business, according to a Bloomberg report.