Microsoft has confirmed reports it’s in talks to acquire TikTok, writing that the deal is currently in preliminary discussions. Oh, and the U.S. president is part of them too.
TikTok has been the subject of intense international scrutiny as of late, with various governments accusing the video sharing app of sharing users’ data with the Chinese government. President Donald Trump claimed he would ban TikTok just last week, and a report from stated he may even order China-based parent company ByteDance to sell the app.
It still isn’t clear whether Trump has given a direct order mandating a sale. He’s certainly involved though, as Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella actually met with Trump to discuss the potential acquisition. Microsoft stated it “appreciates the U.S. Government’s and President Trump’s personal involvement as it continues to develop strong security protections for the country.”
“Microsoft fully appreciates the importance of addressing the President’s concerns,” wrote Microsoft. “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.”
Filling the U.S. Treasury’s coffers isn’t usually at the forefront of companies’ minds when negotiating acquisitions, but it seems to be a bit different when the president sticks his nose in.
“The two companies [ByteDance and Microsoft] 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,” wrote Microsoft.
Stressing the importance of security, Microsoft stated that it intends to add further security and privacy measures to TikTok, and provide “appropriate security oversight by governments in these countries.” Exactly what Microsoft considers “appropriate” remains unclear.
Microsoft stated that it will not be providing further updates on its potential acquisition of TikTok until discussions conclude, which is expected to occur by Sept. 15, 2020. “During this process, Microsoft looks forward to continuing dialogue with the United States Government, including with the President,” wrote Microsoft.
Mashable has reached out to TikTok for comment.
This is a developing story…