Yesterday we reported on one of the most bizarre stories of 2020, and that is saying a lot – that Microsoft was seriously interested in purchasing the US division of social network TikTok.
Today we can thankfully report that the talks are apparently on hold, according to a new report by the Wall Street Journal.
The talks were apparently “paused” after President Trump indicated that he was not in favour of such as deal.
Microsoft was reportedly in advanced talks with Bytedance Ltd, TikTok’s parent company, with the potential for the deal to have been announced as soon as this coming Monday. The Wall Street Journal says Bytedance was surprised by the new intervention from the White House, as they had been involved in the discussions around the sale “for weeks” and that the White House had made it clear they wanted TikTok to be “American owned.”
The deal is not completely dead yet, as both sides seek clarity from the White House. President Trump has made it clear that he prefers to end TikTok in the USA completely, saying:
“As far as TikTok is concerned we’re banning them from the United States. Well, I have that authority.”
He has not responded positively to attempts to placate the White House, such as agreeing to create as many as 10,000 jos in USA over the next 3 years.
In an official statement, the White House said: “The administration has very serious national security concerns over TikTok. We continue to evaluate future policy.”
Some have said that President Trump’s vendetta against TikTok was based on more than national security concerns, and was rather more personal, after young people on TikTok took credit for the humiliating failure of his Tulsa rally a number of weeks ago.