It has been months since the talks of TikTok selling its US operations started. One of all potential bidders was Microsoft. But the news is that Microsoft’sTikTok owner ByteDance rejected Microsoft’s bid.
The conversations about this have been very public. Microsoft and the Trump administration have been highly involved in the dialogue. The administration cited national security concerns against the app. They issued an executive order that the app should either shut down or be sold to a US buyer. The deadline set by the US President against the short video app was on September 15.
The political unrest between the US and China has caused unrest for TikTok. The executive order says that China’s apps threaten the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States. The main accusation against the app is that they may share user data with the Chinese government. There is a large amount of user data, and claims are that the app isn’t securely coded. Some arguments suggest that these allegations are baseless. They are disguised as concerns against national security.
Last month, Microsoft officially confirmed to pursuing to buy TikTok’s operations. The deal was for the US, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand. There were even speculations of Microsoft buying all of TikTok’s global operations. Microsoft’s bid, however, has been rejected.
In a statement, Microsoft shares:
ByteDance let us know today they would not be selling TikTok’s US operations to Microsoft.
Microsoft appears to imply that they were serious about user data protection
We are confident our proposal would have been good for TikTok’s users while protecting national security interests. To do this, we would have made significant changes to ensure the service met the highest standards for security, privacy, online safety, and combatting disinformation. We made these principles clear in our August statement.
We look forward to seeing how the service evolves in these important areas.
ByteDance is credited with pioneering algorithmic content recommendations for short videos. And this is the primary leverage that the company has. Its rise to prominence is closely linked to this. ByteDance also tried to swerve from the US ban. TikTok’s American CEO even pointed out hundreds of its US-based jobs. And they even voiced out their ongoing efforts to improve security.
Another potential bidder for this race was Oracle. A Wall Street Journal report stated that Oracle is gaining the upper hand. The report said that Oracle would be picked as TikTok’s “trusted tech partner” in the States. Oracle might serve as a cloud service provider rather than a parent company.
However, the news outlet in China, CGTN, shares that ByteDance won’t give its source code to US buyers. The company has declined to comment on this matter.
As Trump’s deadline for the app approaches, Zhang Yiming, chairman at ByteDance, shared:
“I can assure you that we are developing solutions that will be in the interest of users, creators, partners, and employees.”
TikTok is the first consumer app from China to conquer the West. The app has kept its audience hooked. Machine Learning plays a big role in the app’s algorithm. The more content one consumes in it, the better the apps get at predicting one’s interest. We can’t deny the stronghold that the app has in the States and elsewhere.
The push and pull with TikTok has been on for a while now. And we near the stated ban on the company’s US operations, we can expect a few more ups and downs here. We will keep you in the loop.