Last week, Microsoft confirmed that the company will be continuing to hold discussions on a possible acquisition of social media platform TikTok. However, sources familiar with the matter are claiming that Microsoft is facing “complex technical challenges” in its bid to carve out parts of TikTok from ByteDance.
President Donald Trump has given Microsoft until Sept. 15 to put together a blueprint for an acquisition that safeguards the personal data of Americans stored on TikTok while issuing an order to ban it if there is no deal by then.
But according to Reuters, the transition could take well over a year as TikTok is technically similar to ByteDance-owned Douyin, which is available only in China, and shares technical resources with it and other ByteDance-owned properties.
To ensure uninterrupted TikTok service, Microsoft would need to rely on ByteDance’s code while it reviews and revises the code.
“While the code for the app, which determines the look and feel of TikTok, has been separated from Douyin, the server code is still partially shared across other ByteDance products, the source said. The server code provides basic functionality of the apps such as data storage, algorithms for moderating and recommending content and the management of user profiles.”
Another challenge Microsoft faces is how it will transfer what is viewed as “TikTok’s secret sauce,” the recommendation engine that keeps users glued to their screens.