Microsoft Considers Buying TikTok

August 12, 2020

In the midst of a growing tech cold war between China and the U.S., President Donald Trump threatened to ban Chinese-owned TikTok from operating its social media platform within the U.S., citing security concerns regarding American user data. The social media platform is immensely popular worldwide, especially among teens. The company says it has 100 million users in the U.S. alone.

However, there’s not yet any reason for its users to panic: Microsoft announced it is looking into potentially purchasing TikTok’s U.S. database, in addition to its operations in the U.S., Australia, Canada and New Zealand. 

Although nothing has been announced as of yet, Microsoft has stated it is performing a review of the company – its security especially – and discussing the sale. The plan is to come to an agreement before September 15, a deadline set by President Trump. Bill Gates, Microsoft’s founder, is rumored to be wary of the deal, although talks have continued between Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and President Trump.

Meanwhile, the story at ByteDance, the Bejing company that owns TikTok, is quite different. CEO Zhang Yiming wrote in a letter to employees stating that nothing has been decided and the fate of TikTok’s U.S. users is far from being decided.