Report: Microsoft Wants to Buy TikTok’s Entire Global Network

TikTok, video sharing app that has become wildly popular with teens, paid a record fine in the United States for illegally collecting personal information from children
Joe Scarnici/Getty

Microsoft is now reportedly seeking to buy all of TikTok’s global business, including the video app’s operations in India and Europe, the Financial Times reported on Thursday.

Microsoft has been in negotiations with ByteDance — the Chinese owner of TikTok — to explore “a purchase of the TikTok service in the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand,” according to a report by Financial TimesThe report added that Microsoft is also pursuing a plan that would include all countries where the app operates, according to multiple individuals with knowledge of the plan.

Microsoft executives are also seeking to mitigate the Chinese government, given that it is looking to avoid being caught in crossfire between Beijing and Washington, according to two of the sources that spoke with the Financial Times.

Last week, President Donald Trump said that he will take action to ban the Chinese-owned video app from the United States.

On Thursday, senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) told Breitbart News that social media app TikTok is “a Trojan Horse” that “vacuums up” all of the data on Americans’ phones for the Chinese Communist Party, and that the app must either sever all ties with its China or “be banned from the United States.”

Meanwhile, TikTok has been banned in India since June, after its government put the app on a blacklist of 59 Chinese mobile apps that it considers a threat to national security.

The eventual deal may come in a variety of forms, according to the sources that spoke with the Financial Times said. They noted a long list of obstacles that stand in the way of a transaction, as well as price.

The report added that one person involved said the discussions were like “multi-dimensional chess” due to the number of stakeholders that are in the process, as well as governments and minority shareholders in ByteDance.

TikTok faces a mid-September deadline to decide whether it will either complete a sale of its U.S. operations to Microsoft, potentially find another buyer, or be banned in the United States.

You can follow Alana Mastrangelo on Twitter at @ARmastrangelo, on Parler at @alana, and on Instagram.


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