Microsoft TikTok

Microsoft Confirms Talks to Buy TikTok's US Operation

Rebbeca Ren

posted on August 3, 2020 8:19 am

Beijing (PingWest)—Microsoft on Sunday released a statement, saying it has held talks with Beijing-headquartered ByteDance to acquire its social app TikTok's US operation. 

The statement comes one day after media outlets reported that Trump opposed the idea of Microsoft buying TikTok and would take action to entirely ban the app in the US.

"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 US, including the US Treasury," wrote the statement.

The company said it will keep working with the US government, promising to take prompt action to discuss with TikTok's parent company ByteDance to conclude the talks by September 15.

Beyond the US, Microsoft also intended to buy TikTok's business in Canada, Australia, and New Zealand and expected to own and operate TikTok in these markets. Other American investors might be invited to participate on a minority basis in this purchase, according to the statement.

“This new structure would build on the experience TikTok users currently love, while adding world-class security, privacy, and digital safety protections,” Microsoft said. “The operating model for the service would be built to ensure transparency to users as well as appropriate security oversight by governments in these countries.”

The Seattle-based software company said that it will ensure that all private data of TikTok’s American users would be located in the country and that data stored elsewhere would be deleted after it’s been moved.

These discussions are at the nascent stage and there is no guarantee that transactions involving Microsoft will continue, said the statement.