TikTok owner ByteDance rejected Microsoft's bid for the app's US operations, Oracle reportedly chosen as US 'technology partner'
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The Chinese owner of TikTok rejected Microsoft's offer to buy US operations for the popular video app, according to a statement from Microsoft released on Sunday. The move left Oracle as the sole publicly known contender to purchase the American operations of TikTok. "ByteDance let us know today they would not be selling TikTok's US operations to Microsoft," Microsoft wrote in the statement. "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, and we made these principles clear in our August statement," the company continued in the announcement. "We look forward to seeing how the service evolves in these important areas." It is unclear as to why Microsoft's bid was rejected. A representative from ByteDance did not immediately return Business Insider's request for comment. President Donald Trump and a group of ByteDance's US investors have shown support for Oracle acquiring the US operations of TikTok, as the company has close ties with the Trump administration. Sources involved in the acquisition talks told The New York Times that ByteDance has named Oracle as its "technology partner," though the company's bid has not been publicly accepted by the Chinese internet company. The Journal and The Washington Post reported Sunday that Oracle was chosen in the deal for TikTok's American operations and will be named the app's "trusted tech partner" in the US, according to The Journal report. President Donald Trump first set a deadline for the acquisition of TikTok's US operations for September 15, but since then, the president has issued two executive orders that have appeared to extend the deadline, first to September 20, then to mid-November. The Wall Street Journal reported last Wednesday that ByteDance is in talks with the US government regarding "possible arrangements" that would avoid a "full sale" of TikTok's operations in the US following months of speculation about which American company would take over the app's American operations. Paige Leskin contributed to this report.SEE ALSO: TikTok may be trying to negotiate its way out of being sold at all Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: What it takes to become a backup dancer for Beyoncé
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Microsoft and Walmart acquiring TikTok would give the companies 'riches of data' to compete with top rival Amazon, analysts say (MSFT, WMT, AMZN)
Microsoft and Walmart teamed up on a bid to acquire a portion of TikTok, Walmart confirmed...Microsoft and Walmart teamed up on a bid to acquire a portion of TikTok, Walmart confirmed to Business Insider. If the bid is successful, analysts say acquiring TikTok would give the companies "riches of data" to take on their mutual biggest rival, Amazon. The Trump administration originally set a Sept. 15 deadline for TikTok to find a buyer, which has since been extended, but some reports suggest a decision could come much sooner. Are you a Microsoft employee? Contact this reporter via encrypted messaging app Signal (+1-425-344-8242) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org). Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. Microsoft and Walmart are teaming up in a bid to acquire a portion of TikTok's operations, in a move that analysts say would give the companies "riches of data" to take on their mutual biggest rival, Amazon. Microsoft has said it's exploring a deal to buy TikTok's operations in several countries including the US by Sept. 15 as its Chinese parent company ByteDance faces increasing pressure from the Trump administration. Then, on Thursday, Walmart said it has partnered with Microsoft on the bid. Microsoft declined to comment. "The way TikTok has integrated e-commerce and advertising capabilities in other markets is a clear benefit to creators and users in those markets," Walmart said in a statment to Business Insider. "We are confident that a Walmart and Microsoft partnership would meet both the expectations of US TikTok users while satisfying the concerns of US government regulators." Unconfirmed reports are swirling, but other companies said to be in the mix include Oracle (reported to be close to a deal to buy TikTok for $20 billion with support from the White House), plus SoftBank, Twitter, Netflix, Apple, and Alphabet. The Trump administration originally set a Sept. 15 deadline for TikTok to find a buyer, which has since been extended, but some reports suggest a decision could come much sooner. Wedbush Securities analyst Dan Ives said Walmart is the "final piece of the puzzle" for Microsoft to acquire TikTok's US operations, which he expects will be valued from $35 billion to $40 billion. The deal, he said, would ultimately help the companies take on Amazon. The Microsoft Azure cloud is widely considered the second-place player in the market behind Amazon Web Services, while Walmart has redoubled its ecommerce efforts to take on Amazon's core retail operations. With Amazon an unlikely buyer for TikTok given the recent negative attention it's received from Washington DC, Walmart might sense an opportunity. "Walmart would be clearly interested in owning TikTok for its potential e-commerce and advertising capabilities to further boost its consumer presence as it further battles Amazon (which cannot touch TikTok given antitrust issues) in the field," Ives said. Microsoft and Walmart already work closely together. The companies teamed up in 2018 to largely move Walmart to Microsoft's Azure cloud and Microsoft 365 bundle of cloud-based business software applications. That move, too, was seen as a way for the companies to take on Amazon. Working together on the TikTok acquisition would be an extension of the partnership, Futurum Research analyst Daniel Newman said. "With the demographic that TikTok serves, the e-commerce play that can tie to the riches of data being created on the platform will have a greater means to directly monetize with Walmart's expansive online commerce and logistics experience," Newman said. Moor Insights & Strategy analyst Patrick Moorhead said bringing Walmart into the deal strengthens Microsoft's bid. "A joint venture or co-investment lowers the risk for Microsoft and could enable it to make a higher bid if it had to," he said. Are you a Microsoft employee with insight to share? Contact reporter Ashley Stewart via encrypted messaging app Signal (+1-425-344-8242) or email (email@example.com).Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: How waste is dealt with on the world's largest cruise ship
TikTok, the video-sharing platform that's become a mainstay of internet culture, is facing an uncertain future...TikTok, the video-sharing platform that's become a mainstay of internet culture, is facing an uncertain future in the US, due to its ties to China thanks to its parent company ByteDance. After months of raising concerns about TikTok's national-security risks, the Trump administration took action this week aimed at banning the app in the US. However, it's still unclear whether Donald Trump has the power to do such a thing. Now, ByteDance has less than 45 days to avoid a ban by finalizing a deal for a US company to take over TikTok's US operations. Microsoft is the frontrunner in the deal, which is estimated to be valued between $10 billion and $30 billion. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. Here's everything you need to go about what's going on with Trump's attempt to ban TikTok — explained in just 30 seconds. TikTok, a product of the massive Chinese company ByteDance, came to the US in 2018. The app's addictive recommendation engine and simple video-making process quickly turned it into a mainstay in internet culture. It now has more than 100 million users in the US. As TikTok's popularity has grown, so has scrutiny from US lawmakers over its roots in China, a country President Donald Trump has readily painted as an enemy. Chinese law requires domestic companies to "cooperate" with the state's security efforts — a connection that raised concerns about the government's influence over TikTok content moderation in the US and its access to American users' data. The US government quietly launched an investigation in November 2019 into TikTok's potential national-security risks, a review led by a government body called CFIUS. TikTok's popularity continued to rocket during the coronavirus pandemic. Mainstream attention turned to TikTok when its userbase mobilized to falsely inflate the expected attendance for a major Trump rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma. At the start of July 2020, Trump administration officials first stated publicly they were considering banning TikTok in the US. On July 31, reports emerged the president would soon turn his words into action as the Trump administration weighed two executive orders: a nationwide TikTok ban, or a directive that ByteDance divest its TikTok operations in the US. In anticipation of a ban, ByteDance started shopping around for potential buyers. Although Trump seemed to initially lean toward a ban, he acquiesced in allowing ByteDance to hold talks to sell off TikTok's US operations — an acquisition in which that Microsoft appears to be the eager frontrunner. Trump has given ByteDance until Sept. 15 to find a buyer, or he says he'll ban TikTok. He's also issued an executive order, set to take effect in less than 45 days, that will bar US companies and entities from "any transactions" with TikTok and ByteDance. However, it's unclear whether Trump has the power to issue a nationwide ban on an app like TikTok. Experts have questioned whether such action could violate Americans' First Amendment rights, and how effective the ban be in practice.SEE ALSO: No, Donald Trump can't 'ban' TikTok Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: Why Pikes Peak is the most dangerous racetrack in America
Bill Gates called Microsoft's potential TikTok deal a 'poison chalice' and said 'who knows what's going to happen'
In an interview with WIRED published Friday, the billionaire Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates talked about the...In an interview with WIRED published Friday, the billionaire Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates talked about the state of US coronavirus testing, vaccines, and Microsoft's potential TikTok deal. On Thursday, President Donald Trump issued an executive order that banned TikTok's parent company – ByteDance, which is a Chinese firm – from operating business in the US. Regarding Microsoft's potential acquisition of TikTok, Gates, who now serves as the company's technology advisor, compared the deal to "a poison chalice." Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. Microsoft cofounder Bill Gates described Microsoft's potential acquisition of TikTok as a "poison chalice" in an interview with WIRED published on Friday. Gates, who now serves as the technology advisor of Microsoft after stepping down from the board of directors in March to focus on philanthropic efforts, shared his thoughts on coronavirus testing, vaccinations, and Microsoft's potential TikTok deal. Gates noted that "being big in the social media business is no simple game," telling the publication that Microsoft making the industry more competitive is "probably a good thing." When asked about President Donald Trump's demand that TikTok be sold to an American company, with the federal government taking a cut, Gates described the move as "strange." "I agree that the principle this is proceeding on is singly strange. The cut thing, that's doubly strange. Anyway, Microsoft will have to deal with all of that," he said. Gates also deflected when he was asked whether he was "wary" about Microsoft jumping into the social media "game." "I mean, this may sound self-serving, but I think that the game being more competitive is probably a good thing. But having Trump kill off the only competitor, it's pretty bizarre," he said. Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo stated in July that the US was looking into a potential ban of the TikTok app. At the end of July, the New York Times reported Microsoft was in talks for acquiring TikTok. In August, Microsoft officially confirmed it has been in talks to acquire TikTok's operations in the US, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, and stated it will complete discussions by September 15th. On Thursday, President Trump issued an executive order that banned TikTok's parent company ByteDance, a Chinese firm, from "any transaction by any person, or with respect to any property, subject to the jurisdiction of the United States." President Trump mentioned in the order that the popular app could "allow the Chinese Communist Party access to Americans' personal and proprietary information." On Saturday, NPR reported that "a person who was directly involved in the forthcoming suit but was not authorized to speak for the company" stated that TikTok planned to sue the Trump administration as early as Tuesday. Read more: Trump just issued 2 executive orders aimed at Chinese-owned apps, barring US companies from doing business with TikTok parent company ByteDance and messaging app WeChat TikTok is at the heart of a wild geopolitical dogfight and it could result in Microsoft buying TikTok. Here's what's going on. Trump's attempt to ban TikTok and WeChat could face legal trouble for infringing on free speech, according to a First Amendment expert Microsoft could be "a great steward" of TikTok's US assets if reported sale talks succeed, says Josh Elman, an investor in the app's predecessor Musical.ly Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: July 15 is Tax Day — here's what it's like to do your own taxes for the very first time