TikTok Rejects Microsoft Bid, Chooses Oracle in Forced Sale

TikTok parent company ByteDance has rejected Microsoft’s bid to acquire the company’s operations within the US. The other company in the running has been computer software company Oracle, who appears to have been chosen by ByteDance as time begins to run out before the Trump administration ban is put into effect.

In a statement put out by Microsoft, the company has confirmed that its bid was not accepted by ByteDance. “ByteDance let us know today they would not be selling TikTok’s US operations to Microsoft,” the blog post reads. Microsoft remained confident that its bid would have been good for the TikTok community as well as maintaining national security interests. Microsoft attempted to ensure TikTok would have met the “highest standards for security, privacy, online safety, and combatting disinformation”.

Although ByteDance nor Oracle has given an official statement on the matter, time is running out. The Trump administration has threatened to ban TikTok from the US by September 20th unless ByteDance sells its US operations. Oracle stepped in alongside Microsoft and placed a bid on operations, which the Trump administration began placing a microscope over due to fear of spying.

Additionally, South China Morning Post reported that the TikTok algorithm, which predicts what users want to watch on the app, will not be sold.

Earlier reports indicated that the acquisition would also see operations in Canada, New Zealand, and Australia took over by the company that’s won the bid. Microsoft was interested in purchasing TikTok in Europe and India, though reports said ByteDance was not interested.

TikTok has claimed that there are over 100 million users in the US, with 700 million users globally. Therefore, it’s a fairly substantial install base caught in the middle, wondering where and how the bid will ultimately land.