As tensions heighten around President Trump and ByteDance’s TikTok, it now appears as though Microsoft is exploring the acquisition of TikTok’s global business, not just its US arm.
The computing giant recently confirmed its intentions to acquire TikTok’s business in the United States, and then President Trump confirmed that the social network would be banned in the United States on September 15 if a US buyer isn’t found. Apple, too, was reportedly considering the possibility of acquiring the company but has since pulled out of the race.
Originally, Microsoft had planned to acquire TikTok in the United States, as well as in Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, and President Trump said that he was open to the concept of a “very American” company taking over the reins of the social networking site, which has exploded in popularity in recent months throughout the coronavirus pandemic.
Trump added that he would only approve an “appropriate deal” and said the US Treasury would get “a lot of money” as part of an acquisition, raising the possibility of a global buyout.
According to the Financial Times, Microsoft is now interested in TikTok’s global business – that is, the social network in all countries other than China, where the app is known as Douyin – as it would help Microsoft control the entire ecosystem.
It raised concerns over a user travelling abroad and suddenly having their TikTok data passed over to another brand.
It’s expected that talks will continue for the next week or two, and a decision will then be made as to whether Microsoft will take over TikTok. If it does not, and another buyer isn’t found, TikTok will ultimately be banned in the US and removed from the App Store.
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