Microsoft and ByteDance were in advanced negotiations for the acquisition of the US arm of the Chinese video platform TikTok. After President Trump announced on Friday that he wanted to enforce a ban on TikTok, those conversations were suspended. This is reported by, among others, the Reuters news agency and technology website The Information based on sources.
Chinese media company ByteDance, owner of TikTok, would like to sell the US branch of the company. According to Reuters, ByteDance originally wanted to hold a minority stake in the American branch of TikTok, much to the dissatisfaction of the White House. To save the deal with Microsoft, ByteDance would now like to fully transfer ownership of TikTok in the US to Microsoft. The data of American users would thus be in the hands of an American company.
The White House called TikTok in a statement “a threat to national security.” Trump fears that data from American users will be passed on to the Chinese government via TikTok. Republican Senator Lindsey Graham listed the takeover on Saturday Twitter a “win-win”. “It keeps data out of the hands of the Chinese Communist Party and creates competition.”
Also read: Group questioning by video helps Big Tech The top executives of Amazon, Google, Apple and Facebook had to answer to the US Congress.
Last week, the top executives of Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple appeared before the antitrust committee of the United States Congress. The companies were questioned there about monopoly formation and abuse of power. According to the committee, the four tech companies have grown so big that there is hardly any more competition.
TikTok – with 100 million American users – is one of the few foreign parties in the United States that can break through the dominance of ‘Big Tech’. In fact, TikTok is so successful that Facebook recently decided to copy and add specific parts to Instagram (owned by Facebook).