American multinational technology company, Microsoft Corporation, is in talks to acquire the Chinese-owned video app TikTok’s operation in the United States. According to reports,
a deal would be a relief to the White House pressure and make the software company popular in the social media sphere.
Since the past few weeks, White House Officials including President Donald Trump have raised the issue of banning the popular video app TikTok from operating in the United States, due to national security issues.
Bloomberg News reported on Friday that the president plans to order ByteDance Ltd. to divest its ownership of TikTok. Later the same day, in the afternoon, a number of media outlets reported Microsoft Corporation is in talks to acquire TikTok’s U.S. operations.
“We are looking at TikTok. We may be banning TikTok,” the president told reporters Friday at the White House. “We are looking at a lot of alternatives with respect to TikTok.”
A sale to Microsoft, which is likely to be a billion-dollar deal, would be a win for both TikTok and its parent company, Bytedance Ltd., where executives had feared that the United States government would force device makers to take TikTok out of their app stores.
In a situation when there has been rising tension between the United States and China, in both political and economic fronts, banning TikTok is only a front in a wider campaign. China might be retaliating by targeting American business interests in their country or by taking other measures.
According to reports, spokespeople for both the companies, Microsoft and TikTok, have refrained to comment on any potential talks.