Microsoft in advanced talks to buy TikTok’s US business

US national-security officials have been reviewing the acquisition of music in recent months, while the US Armed Forces have banned their employees from installing TikTok on government-issued phones.

Microsoft is in advanced negotiations to buy the US operations of the China-owned video app TikTok, which has been a source of national security and censorship concerns, according to one person who is familiar with the discussions, not just for anonymity. Used to speak on condition. Sensitivity to interaction.

The potential deal would be a win for both companies, making Microsoft Corporation a major player in the social media arena and relieving President Donald Trump’s target TikTok and its parent company, BuyDance Limited.
Trump said on Friday that he would take action as soon as possible on Saturday to ban TikTok in the United States. Trump’s remarks on Friday in Air Force One came after published reports that the administration was planning to order China’s BiteDance to sell TikTok.

“As far as TikTok is concerned, we are banning him from the United States,” Trump told reporters on Air Force One on Friday, as he returned from Florida. Trump said he could use emergency economic powers or an executive order to emphasize that “I have that right.” He said, “It’s going to be signed tomorrow.” Microsoft declined to comment.

Bloomberg News and the Wall Street Journal report cited unnamed sources as saying the administration could soon announce an order by ByteDance that would divest its ownership in TikTok. There have been reports of US tech giants and financial firms being interested in buying or investing in TikTokas the Trump administration sets its sights on the app. The New York Times and Fox Business reported Friday for the first time, citing an unnamed source, that Microsoft is negotiating to buy TikTok.

TikTok released a statement on Friday stating that, “While we do not comment on rumors or speculation, we believe in the long-term success of TikTok.” On Saturday, it posted a short video from its US general manager, Vanessa Pappas, saying that “we are not planning to go anywhere.”

Bytdance launched TikTok in 2017, then bought, a video service popular with teens in the US and Europe, and merged them both. A twin service, Doyin, is available to Chinese users. TikTok’s fun, goofy videos and ease of use have made it quite popular, and American tech giants such as Facebook and Snapchat see it as a competitive threat. It has said that it has millions of American users and millions of people globally.

But its Chinese ownership has raised concerns about the video’s censorship, including significant Chinese government and the ability to share user data with Chinese authorities. TikTok says that it does not censor videos based on China-sensitive topics and it will not allow Chinese government access to US government data when asked. The company hired a former CEO of the US, a former Disney executive, in an effort to distance himself from his Chinese ownership.

US national-security officials have been reviewing the acquisition of music in recent months, while the US Armed Forces have banned their employees from installing TikTok on government-issued phones. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said this month that the US was considering a ban on TikTok.

These national security parallels the broader US security crackdown on Chinese companies, including telecommunications providers Huawei and ZTE. The Trump administration has ordered that the American network discontinue funding tools from those providers.

The Chinese government has tried to remove the ally due to concerns over access to data, which the company has denied. Before the Trump administration blocked or dissolved deals on national-security concerns, including stopping Singapore’s Broadcom from its $ 117 billion bid for US chipmaker Qualcomm in 2018, in an effort to help maintain US leadership in the telecom space Has stepped. It also reported that Beijing Kunlun Tech Company of China has sold the 2016 purchase of gay dating app Grindr.

Other countries are also taking action against Tektok. India last month banned dozens of Chinese apps, including TikTok, citing privacy, concerns amid tensions between countries. According to Susan Ariel Aronson, a professor and data governance and national-security expert at George Washington University, the US government’s poor track record in reducing data privacy significantly drastically reduced its credibility in taking on Chinese-owned companies. Have given.

The federal government has not passed comprehensive privacy or data-protection legislation despite attempts to do so last year, and the Department of Justice has tried to reduce encryption – which ensures that only a sender and receiver exchange content. Can see provided – for law-enforcement reasons. Tech companies have pulled back against this.

Microsoft, which owns LinkedIn, is the No. 4 digital advertising company in the US, after Google, Facebook and Amazon. According to technology industry analyst Patrick Moorehead, buying Teaktok would be a significant shift towards Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella’s focus on workplace software, according to Moore Insights and Strategy.

Unlike Google or Facebook, which dominates the digital advertising industry, Microsoft is not subject to intense scrutiny by American politicians and antitrust regulators.

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