Walmart and Microsoft are reportedly teaming up to buy TikTok.
As reported ON CNBC, the retail and computer giants are joining forces to purchase the popular platform, which sees users sharing short-form videos.
The platform currently has over 80 million users in the US alone after being launched by ByteDance in 2017. In April, the service garnered over two billion downloads.
In a statement, Walmart said: “We are confident that a Walmart and Microsoft partnership would meet both the expectations of US TikTok users while satisfying the concerns of US government regulators.”
Back in July, United States President Donald Trump said he was banning TikTok in the US, telling reporters on Air Force One: “As far as TikTok is concerned, we’re banning them from the United States.”
It came amid US fears for data-security at the Chinese-owned platform at a time when US-China relations continue to deteriorate. Whilst Trump did not specific how he would achieve what he described as a “severance”, he said he could sign an “executive order” banning the platform from the US.
The orders – which come into force next month – remain vague but could potentially involve the removal of the apps from the Apple and Google app stores. The US President previously threatened a deadline of September 15 to “close down” the app unless Microsoft or “somebody else” purchased it.
A representative for the app, owned by China’s ByteDance, told The Wall Street Journal on August 22 that it was subsequently preparing to issue a lawsuit against the Trump administration for its inability to follow due process.
“For nearly a year we have sought to engage in good faith to provide a constructive solution,” the rep said. “What we encountered instead was a lack of due process as the Administration paid no attention to facts and tried to insert itself into negotiations between private businesses.”
The former Disney executive told staff in a letter that he decided to leave after the US President told TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, to sell its US assets to a US company within 90 days.
The Financial Times quoted an excerpt from the letter which said: “In recent weeks, as the political environment has sharply changed, I have done significant reflection on what the corporate structural changes will require, and what it means for the global role I signed up for. Against this backdrop… it is with a heavy heart that I wanted to let you all know that I have decided to leave the company.”