Microsoft Corp. is exploring its acquisition to buy short video-sharing app TikTok’s US business to Microsoft, reports stated. The talks between the two firms are in an advanced stage, as per a report in The Wall Street Journal on Friday which cited people familiar with the matter.
A deal like this could make Microsoft a big player in the social media space and relieve the U.S. government’s pressure on the app’s Chinese owner-ByteDance. Especially after the video-sharing app was hit with a ban in India in June.
The U.S. government has been investigating potential national security risks due to the ByteDance’s control of the app.
According to a report in The Hill, US President Donald Trump on Friday unveiled his plans to ban TikTok in the US using emergency economic powers or an executive order as early as Saturday. The app is already banned in India.
The announcement made to reporters aboard Air Force One came hours after news broke about a possible transaction between Microsoft and ByteDance.
Meanwhile, a spokesperson for both the companies have declined to comment on any potential talks.
In 2017, ByteDance bought Musical.ly Inc. and merged it with TikTok, creating a social-media hit in the U.S. As TikTok’s popularity gained momentum in America, government officials grew concerned about the potential of the Chinese government to use the app to gain critical data on U.S. citizens.
TikTok has repeatedly denied accusations that it provides user data to Chinese government. With an aim to satisfy the U.S. authorities the company hired a U.S.-based chief executive officer. It is further considering to make other organisational changes.
This is not the first time when Microsoft has dabbed in social-media investments. But the company has failed to develop a lucrative service of its own. In 2016, it acquired LinkedIn for $26.2 billion.