Microsoft (MSFT) Reportedly Considering A Deal To Buy TikTok In The U.S. [Update]

By Amit Chowdhry ● July 31, 2020
  • Update (August 2, 2020): Microsoft has paused negotiations over TikTok’s operations due to hostility from President Trump according to a report by The Wall Street Journal
  • Update (August 3, 2020): Microsoft said it will “continue to explore a purchase of TikTok in the United States.” Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella spoke with President Trump about the plans for the deal (source: Microsoft blog). “Microsoft will move quickly to pursue discussions with TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, in a matter of weeks, and in any event completing these discussions no later than September 15, 2020,” said the company in a statement.
  • Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT) is reportedly in discussions to buy TikTok in the U.S. These are the details.

Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT) is reportedly in discussions to buy TikTok in the U.S. This news comes on the heels of President Trump saying that he was considering banning TikTok as a way of retaliating against China for the way the coronavirus was handled.

Bloomberg also reported that President Trump was planning to order that TikTok’s parent company ByteDance sell its U.S. operations. The US government has been investigating national security concerns due to ByteDance’s control of TikTok.

“We are looking at TikTok,” said President Trump to a group of reporters. “We may be banning TikTok. We are looking at a lot of alternatives with respect to TikTok.”

Bytedance had acquired Musical.ly Inc. in 2017 and merged its operations with TikTok. Following the combination of the platforms, it created one of the fast-growing social media apps in the U.S.

TikTok has offices in Los Angeles and the company stated that no data is stored on servers in China and that the app operates independently. Bytedance also recently hired former Walt Disney executive Kevin Mayer to run its operations.

“While we do not comment on rumors or speculation, we are confident in the long-term success of TikTok,” said TikTok in a statement via CNBC. “Hundreds of millions of people come to TikTok for entertainment and connection, including our community of creators and artists who are building livelihoods from the platform. We’re motivated by their passion and creativity, and committed to protecting their privacy and safety as we continue working to bring joy to families and meaningful careers to those who create on our platform.”

Update (August 2, 2020): TikTok’s U.S. General Manager Vanessa Pappas posted a video on Saturday explaining that TikTok did not disappear in the U.S.:

 

This story is developing… check back for more information soon

Disclosure: I own a small number of Microsoft shares in my stock portfolio