ByteDance to Sell TikTok's US Operations to Microsoft: Reuters

August 1, 2020 10:11 pm

Citing two sources, Reuters reported on Saturday August 1 that Chinese internet company ByteDance has agreed to sell TikTok's US operations to Microsoft.

Existing US investors of ByteDance, including Sequoia Capital and General Atlantic, may be given the opportunity to become minority stakeholder in the business, according to the Reuters report.

A spokesperson for ByteDance denied such a deal, saying it is unconfirmed market rumor.

A Microsoft spokesperson offered no comment on the news.

The rumored sale was made in rush in order to save a deal with the White House, so that the app may not be banned in the US. It came one day after US President Donald Trump told White House reporters that he is going to ban TikTok.

TikTok operates in all major overseas markets, including the North America, South East Asia, India, Europe, South America, etc. 

India became the first country to outright ban the ByteDance owned app over national security and cyber sovereignty concerns in late June. Top US officials, including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and President Trump, have threatened multiple times to ban the app.

Should the rumored deal happens, ByteDance would still maintain full ownership in TikTok operations on other markets.