Microsoft Corp. has confirmed the fact of negotiations on the purchase of the American share of the social network TikTok, having declared its readiness to continue discussing a potential deal after a conversation between Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and US President Donald Trump. This was reported in the Microsoft corporate blog.
The most popular network TikTok belongs to the Chinese conglomerate ByteDance, the second largest market capitalization of a private (closed joint stock company) company in the world. Back in early July, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced the possible blocking of the application in the US amid suspicions of espionage and cooperation with the Chinese intelligence services. On July 31, the New York Times wrote that Microsoft was negotiating the purchase of the American division of the social networking site TikTok, and the next day, US President Donald Trump announced his intention to ban TikTok in the United States.
Everything you wanted to know about TikTok, but were shy to ask
Microsoft has announced its intention to accelerate negotiations with ByteDance regarding the deal to sell the US stake in TikTok and achieve results within “a few weeks.” The deadline for the completion of negotiations in the company was called September 15. That is, regardless of the result, the negotiations will be completed no later than this date. At the same time, Microsoft will continue its dialogue with the US authorities, including the president.
The basis for discussing the potential deal was an official notification to the Committee on Foreign Investment of the United States (CFIUS), sent by Microsoft and ByteDance. It talks about preliminary intentions to study the possible purchase of the TikTok service in the USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. If the negotiations are successful, Microsoft will own and operate the service in those countries. This does not exclude the possibility of attracting other American investors to the deal on a minority basis. That is, in this case, Microsoft will not be the sole owner of the service.
Microsoft assured that after the acquisition, nothing will be changed in work and TikTok will continue to work as before, but users will receive “world-class security, privacy and digital protection”, and operational management will be carried out with maximum transparency and under the control of government regulators of specific countries.
Microsoft also plans to ensure that the data of American TikTok users is fully stored and processed in the United States. If it suddenly turns out that at the time of the negotiations the slightest part of the data is outside the United States, the company promises to “make sure that the data is deleted from foreign servers during the transfer.”
In the US, TikTok has a monthly audience of 80 million.