TikTok was in a no man’s land last month. Their backs were against the wall after the Trump administration ordered them to sell off their operations in the United States. Since then, ByteDance had to accept suitors that can take over their company. At the forefront were Microsoft, Oracle, and Walmart.
All these companies are U.S. grown brands that bear the trust of the White House. Microsoft was able to get ahead of the pack with direct communications with the President’s office. However, it seems like the talks will be rendered useless, after all.
The Wall Street Journal reports that ByteDance has been in touch with the White House in the past months. The original position of the latter was that the former must completely sell its U.S. operations. The preferred buyer is supposed to be a U.S. company. The simple reason being that the company must be a trusted data handler.
However, after China clamped down on Chinese companies selling off their assets, the tone of the conversations have changed. TikTok now has to balance the interests of China and the U.S. in this sale. Otherwise, they stand to lose their stakes in the game completely.
Now it seems likely that the option of keeping its operations intact is on the table. However, data management could be transferred to a U.S. company. The state of TikTok right now is far from desirable. However, they are in a better position now to discuss compared to where they were last month.
They only have ten more days to pull off the sale, and the situation is very fluid.
Microsoft earlier last month pledged to the White House that it would ensure that all user data of TikTok will be housed only in the United States. All other U.S. user data kept or backed up outside the country will be deleted. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella himself confirmed this directly with U.S. President Donald Trump.
The company also said that immediately upon acquiring TikTok, it will do a full security review of the operations if it does. Also, it will look to find ways to further the economic benefits of the United States, particularly the U.S. Treasury.
Microsoft also commits that TikTok will remain to be the platform that users love to interact with. However, it will just come with added security and peace of mind for its users to enjoy.
Image from XanderSt/Shutterstock
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