Microsoft confirms plan to acquire ByteDance’s video uploading TikTok App after President Trump gives consent
After days of see-sawing between yes and no, Microsoft has now publicly confirmed that it was indeed interested in purchasing TikTok App from ByteDance. Microsoft said that they were considering purchasing the video uploading TikTok App for the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. Interestingly Microsoft is not considering buying TikTok India, where it has been banned due to data security issues.
In the blog post, Microsoft also announced that it will “move quickly to pursue discussions with TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, in a matter of weeks.” Microsoft’s confirmation came after President Trump gave his consent to the Redmond-based company taking over TikTok operations in the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.
TikTok was supposed to be banned from Saturday in the United States as per reports. On Friday night, President Trump reportedly said that “As far as TikTok is concerned we’re banning them from the United States.” The reports had also indicated that President Trump did not support Microsoft’s takeover of TikTok.
But after Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella spoke directly to President Donald Trump about the company’s intention to purchase TikTok, Trump consented to Nadella’s proposal and is understood to be personally involved as plans take shape. Microsoft may also take on minority partners to seal the deal and avoid future complications with FCC, U.S. Treasury Department, and anti-trust authorities.
Microsoft 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.” According to the acquisition plan, Microsoft will enable a new transparent data handling policy with appropriate security oversight by the US, Australia, New Zealand, and Canadian authorities.
“Among other measures, Microsoft would ensure that all private data of TikTok’s American users is transferred to and remains in the United States. To the extent that any such data is currently stored or backed-up outside the United States, Microsoft would ensure that this data is deleted from servers outside the country after it is transferred,” Microsoft said.
The Microsoft-TikTok deal will be sealed by September 15th according to reports. Microsoft says that it will make future announcements only if the deal succeeds.
If Microsoft succeeds in acquiring TikTok, it will have a worthy rival to Facebook’s Instagram Reels and other short video uploading apps. Facebook is already in the process of unveiling Instagram Reels throughout the world.
In other news, ByteDance is moving its headquarters out of China to London. A report in The Sun states that British ministers have approved plans to allow ByteDance to move its headquarters from Beijing to London.