- President Donald Trump supposedly plans Instruct China's ByteDance to separate from the US activities of the TikTok viral video app.
- According to several reports, Microsoft is in talks to buy the stake.
- Some U.S. investors recently valued TikTok at $ 50 billion.
- In a statement to Business Insider, a representative from TikTok said: "Although we are not commenting on rumors or speculation, we are confident that TikTok will be successful in the long term." Microsoft declined to comment.
- Are you a Microsoft employee with knowledge of sharing? Contact reporter Ashley Stewart via the encrypted messaging app Signal (+ 1-425-344-8242) or by email (firstname.lastname@example.org).
- You can find more stories on the Business Insider homepage.
President Donald Trump is reportedly planning to commission ByteDance, TikTok's China-based parent company, to sell the U.S. activities of the viral video app – and Microsoft has emerged as a potential buyer.
Bloomberg reported On Friday afternoon, Trump planned to sign an executive order instructing ByteDance to "sell" his property in TikTok's US operations. Reports then came out first of Fox Business Network's Charles Gasparino on Microsoft's potential interest in the acquisition of TikTok. Bloomberg reported later on Friday that other bidders are also interested in TikTok, although there were no specific names.
TikTok, which has more than 2.3 billion downloads worldwide, was recently rated between $ 30 billion and $ 50 billion.
It is not entirely clear where TikTok would fit in Microsoft's business. The main presence of Microsoft in social networks is LinkedIn, which is aimed at professionals. Microsoft recently shut down Mixer, its video game streaming service that competed with Amazon Twitch.
It is also worth noting that TikTok's parent company, ByteDance, was founded in 2012 by a former Microsoft employee, Zhang Yiming.
In a statement to Business Insider, a representative from TikTok said: "Although we are not commenting on rumors or speculation, we are confident that TikTok will be successful in the long term." Microsoft declined to comment.
However, some analysts told Business Insider that the purchase of TikTok could bring Microsoft awards to millions of users of the app who are concerned about the Trump administration's threats to ban the app in the United States in early July. The Trump administration has weighed TikTok's ban over concerns about its ties to China and the potential for the government to access user data and content moderation.
Since TikTok came and found in the USA in 2018 an energetic and growing base of up to 80 million usersLegislators and data protection advocates have examined the extent to which the Chinese government has access to TikTok's user data and content moderation through the parent company ByteDance. TikTok has stated that it is not subject to Chinese data laws and would not comply with the Chinese government's request.
But TikTok's China relations have garnered even more attention in the past few months, after the president and officials announced earlier this month that they were considering a ban on the app. One possibility that White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow mentioned earlier this month could be for TikTok to withdraw from China and act as an "independent American company".
The resulting uncertainty in TikTok's future has reportedly prompted ByteDance executives and investors to look for alternatives to avoid a US ban. Earlier this month, a group of U.S. investors from ByteDance, including Sequoia Capital and General Atlantic, considered buying a majority stake in TikTok The information. But The information reported Friday that these talks failed because it was feared that such a takeover "would not come together with the Trump administration".
The power of Trump to force a foreign company like ByteDance to "part" with TikTok's US operations is unclear. It is also unclear how TikTok or ByteDance will respond to an order, but Trump's move would escalate government attacks on TikTok and other Chinese technology companies.
Are you a Microsoft employee with knowledge of sharing? Contact reporter Ashley Stewart via the encrypted messaging app Signal (+ 1-425-344-8242) or by email (email@example.com).
Are you a TikTok or ByteDance employee? Contact the reporter Paige Leskin at firstname.lastname@example.org with a non-work device. Open DMs on Twitter @ Paigeleskin.