Even if you’re an old-timer, you’ve probably heard of ByteDance’s ridiculously popular video-sharing app TikTok, which lets bored teens and other users create dance, lip-sync, and other types of short-form videos. Following allegations of invasive data collection and other major privacy issues (ByteDance, as you probably also know, is based in China), President Trump has proposed banning the app from the U.S. entirely, but according to a story from Reuters, TikTok might be given a second lease on life stateside thanks to new ownership.
China’s ByteDance has reportedly agreed to divest the app’s U.S. operations, relinquishing its user data to another huge entity. Sources claim that this will be no other than Microsoft, which is no stranger to hosting and managing hordes of personal information via Windows, LinkedIn, and other popular platforms.
“ByteDance was previously seeking to keep a minority stake in the U.S. business of TikTok, which the White House had rejected,” Reuters reported. “Under the new proposed deal, ByteDance would exit completely and Microsoft Corp would take over TikTok in the United States, the sources said.”
“Under ByteDance’s new proposal, Microsoft, which also owns professional social media network LinkedIn, will be in charge of protecting all of TikTok’s U.S. user data, the sources said. The plan allows for a U.S. company other than Microsoft to take over TikTok in the United States, the sources added.”
According to Fox Business Network’s Charles Gasparino, who was one of the first to report on this potential acquisition, Microsoft is the only big U.S. tech company that would be allowed to do this due to antitrust concerns.
BREAKING (thread) on @Microsoft potential interest in buying the US portion of @tiktok, which the #CFIUS divestiture order will impact: Bankers with knowledge of the matter say Micosoft is well aware that Tiktok is a global company and Microsoft would need to build out the— Charles Gasparino (@CGasparino) July 31, 2020