Microsoft, the software giant on August 2, 2020, confirmed that it has held discussions with Chinese technology company ByteDance, to acquire the US-based operations of TikTok, the online video-sharing app. TikTok’s U.S. operations are worth $5 billion. The company said it expects the negotiations to conclude by September 15.
Why Microsoft halted the Negotiations?
Microsoft and ByteDance has been in advance conversations, and negotiations were gaining momentum. But after President Donald Trump said on Friday, “As far as TikTok is concerned, we are banning them from the United States,” Microsoft halted all its negotiations.
Trump firmly rejected the idea of a potential spin-off deal satisfying national security. Trump told reporters that he did not support the reported spin-off deal involving Microsoft buying TikTok, NBC News reported.
Microsoft’s Response to Trump’s concern
After its chief executive spoke with President Trump regarding his security concerns, the company says, “It is committed to acquiring TikTok subject to a complete security review and providing proper economic benefits to the United States, including the United States Treasury.”
The company says it intends to complete, then started negotiations with ByteDance. “We do not intend to provide further updates until there is a definitive outcome to our discussions,” the company said.
Microsoft is also speculated to purchase TikTok Canada, Australia, and New Zealand and may invite other American investors to participate on a minority basis in this purchase.
Microsoft on TikTok’s Security Concerns
- Microsoft will ensure that all the data generated by American users remain in the United States.
- If any data is currently stored or backed-up outside the United States, Microsoft will ensure that it gets deleted after being transferred to the States.
- In addition to the experience that the TikTok users currently love, Microsoft is said to add world-class security, privacy, and digital safety protections.
The company says, “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.”
TikTok’s take on the Ban and Sale
As speculation grew over a ban or sale of TikTok’s U.S. business, the company posted a video on Saturday saying, “We’re not planning on going anywhere.”
On August 2, the company disclosed that the American user’s data is stored in the U.S., with strict controls on employee access, and its most significant investors come from the U.S.
TikTok’s spokesperson says, “We are committed to protecting our users’ privacy and safety as we continue working to bring joy to families and meaningful careers to those who create on our platform.”
In addition to that, the company stated a few facts:
- 100 million Americans come to TikTok for entertainment and connection, especially during the pandemic.
- Hired nearly 1,000 people to our U.S. team this year alone, and are proud to be hiring another 10,000 employees into great paying jobs across the U.S.
- $1 billion creator fund supports U.S. creators who are building livelihoods using our platform.
It is worth mentioning that in 2017, ByteDance acquired Musical.ly Inc. and merged it with TikTok, thus, becoming popular in the U.S., and the first Chinese application to do so.