Microsoft has confirmed that the company will be continuing to hold discussions on a possible acquisition of social media platform TikTok following a meeting between Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and President Trump.
In a blog post, Microsoft announced that it is “committed to acquiring TikTok subject to a complete security review and providing proper economic benefits to the United States, including the United States Treasury.” Microsoft confirmed that it was in serious talks to purchase ByteDance’s TikTok as rumours began to spin as President Trump vowed to ban the platform in the country.
Last week, President Trump was adamant about having TikTok banned as early as August 1st. Microsoft is apparently vert set on escalating discussions with ByteDance. The blog post continued to say that the company will “move quickly to pursue discussions with TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, in a matter of weeks, and in any event completing these discussions no later than September 15, 2020.”
The deal between Microsoft and ByteDance would not only affect TikTok in the U.S. market. Microsoft blog states that the “two companies have provided notice of their intent to explore a preliminary proposal that would involve a purchase of the TikTok service in the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand and would result in Microsoft owning and operating TikTok in these markets.” As for the other countries TikTok operates from, it’s still unclear how a Microsoft acquisition may affect operations.
The TikTok ban in the U.S. all stems from privacy concerns, ones that Microsoft hopes to address through its purchase. Microsoft states that it “would ensure that all private data of TikTok’s American users are transferred to and remains in the United States. To the extent that any such data is currently stored or backed-up outside the United States.” The company also said that all data would be “deleted from servers outside the country after it is transferred.”
Microsoft has described these discussions as preliminary so the possibility of the acquisition deal falling through is still entirely possible. That said, given the timeline brought to the table by Microsoft, a confirmation on TikTok’s future in North America will be known in a matter of weeks.