San Francisco, August 3 – Microsoft has officially confirmed that it is in talks to acquire the operations of the TikTok video sharing platform in the U.S., Canada, Australia and New Zealand markets, following a conversation between Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and President Donald Trump.
“Microsoft is ready to continue discussions to explore the possibility of buying TikTok in the United States,” the technology giant said in a blog post published late Monday.
“Microsoft is fully aware of the importance of addressing the president’s concerns. It is committed to acquiring TikTok subject to a full security review and to providing appropriate economic benefits to the United States, including the U.S. Treasury,” the company said.
The official confirmation came after reports that Microsoft had halted its offer to buy the US operations of China’s TikTok after President Donald Trump vowed to ban the short video production application which has more than 80 million monthly users in the country.
According to a report published in the Wall Street Journal, the sale was considered close to a deal “but was questioned after the US president’s warning”.
Microsoft said that it “will quickly continue discussions with TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, in a few weeks, and in any case conclude these discussions by 15 September 2020 at the latest”.
During this process, Microsoft looks forward to continuing the dialogue with the US government, including the President.
The discussions with ByteDance will be based on a notification by Microsoft and ByteDance to the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS).
Both companies have indicated their intention to explore a preliminary proposal which would involve the purchase of TikTok service in the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand and which would result in Microsoft owning and operating TikTok in these markets.
Microsoft has stated that it may invite other US investors to participate in this purchase on a minority basis.
Microsoft stated that it would ensure that all private data of US TikTok users would be transferred and remain in the US.
“To the extent that such data is currently stored or backed up outside the US, Microsoft would ensure that this data is deleted from servers outside the country after transfer,” he said.
Trump said last week that he would issue an executive order banning the popular Chinese video application TikTok from operating in the country.