ByteDance rejects Microsoft’s bid for TikTok after weeks of negotiations

Since early August, ByteDance had been in talks with Microsoft to explore the purchase of TikTok in the United States after Trump threatens to ban the app. However, Microsoft says they’re not acquiring TikTok after their bid was rejected.

“ByteDance let us know today they would not be selling TikTok’s US operations to Microsoft. We are confident our proposal would have been good for TikTok’s users, while protecting national security interests. To do this, we would have made significant changes to ensure the service met the highest standards for security, privacy, online safety, and combatting disinformation, and we made these principles clear in our August statement. We look forward to seeing how the service evolves in these important areas,” says Microsoft in a statement.

Previously, Microsoft said that 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”. They also said “the private data of TikTok’s American users remain within the country”.

Trump has agreed to give ByteDance until 15 September to negotiate the sale with Microsoft, before settling on 12 November. In return, ByteDance is filing a lawsuit against the U.S. government, arguing that the Trump administration’s executive order is too “extreme”—especially given the lack of “any evidence”.

With time still ticking on the TikTok clock, reports suggest that software company Oracle also in the midst of trying to acquire the app. It may have planned to serve as more of a cloud services provider rather than a parent company with direct control. However, CGTN claims that ByteDance now doesn’t plan to sell TikTok’s US operations to either Oracle or Microsoft Corp and will not give the source code for the video platform to any U.S. buyers.

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Dzamira Dzafri