Microsoft released a blog post on Sunday in which it claimed that it was all ready to carry out discussions to look at the prospects of acquiring TikTok in the United States. The blog post was released shortly after a discussion between Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and US President Donald Trump. This is the first time that the company has directly stated that it plans to buy TikTok.
The source reveals “Microsoft fully appreciates the importance of addressing the President’s concerns. 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.” The blog further stated that the company wishes to move sooner in this regard so that it can carry out talks with ByteDance, TikTok’s parent company. Microsoft plans on completing all discussions before September 15, 2020.
The blog further adds 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.”
Presently, there is not much clarity regarding Microsoft’s action plan as to how it plans to control operations in the above-mentioned countries from Europe and Africa. Microsoft has also claimed that it does not intend on acquiring TikTok completely all by itself, hinting at the possibility that it “may invite other American investors to participate on a minority basis in this purchase.” There could be a possibility of a few other firms joining Microsoft in this deal.
On Friday, President Trump had stated that he would be seeking a ban on TikTok under any circumstances. The President even went on to tell the reporters that he was all set to sign a document seeking a ban on TikTok as early as Saturday by making use of either special powers or emergency economic powers.
State Secretary Mike Pompeo had stated that the ban on the video making app could occur sometime as early as around the 7th of July. TikTok is owned by ByteDance, an organization located in China’s Beijing. Lawmakers intending to seek a ban on the same have cited security issues, stating that the confidential user data stored in the app could reach the hands of Beijing officials. Pompeo had also collated TikTok to Huawei and ZTE. Both these companies are cited as those which threaten US national security. Although the blog post states that the discussions related to the TikTok acquisition are in the preliminary phase, it vows to take care of all the privacy issues surrounding the app.
The company has stated that it would make sure that all the private and confidential data of TikTok’s American users would be transferred to and would remain in the United States. The blog stated, “To the extent that any such data is currently stored or backed-up outside the United States, Microsoft would ensure that this data is deleted from servers outside the country after it is transferred.”
Image source: TheVerge