Cue up the Steve Ballmer dance.
What you need to know
- The Trump administration is rumored to be preparing an order that would compel Chinese company ByteDance to divest the U.S. portion of TikTok.
- Microsoft is reportedly in talks to buy the app from Bytedance.
- There’s no word on when a sale might be final, though the Trump administration’s order could land “as soon as Friday.”
The Trump administration is reportedly considering an order that would force Chinese company ByteDance to divest its ownership of popular app TikTok in the U.S. Fox Business Network’s Charles Gasparino reports that U.S. companies are in talks to buy TikTok, with Microsoft’s name in the mix.
CONFIRMED; sources say @Microsoft in talks to buy https://t.co/1q4Y8HRbjG
— Charles Gasparino (@CGasparino) July 31, 2020
According to a report from Bloomberg, the Trump administration could hand down its order “as soon as Friday.
The order would come after concerns from U.S. lawmakers about the ability for the Chinese government to use TikTok to obtain data on American citizens. TikTok is owned by ByteDance following its merger with Musical.ly in 2017. As Bloomberg notes, President Trump has mulled banning TikTok in retaliation for China’s handling of the coronavirus outbreak.
TikTok has been looking for ways to distance itself from its Chinese ownership, seeking to reassure the public that no data is stored on servers in China and that the app operates independently. Bytedance even appointed a CEO formerly of Walt Disney Co, Kevin Mayer, to run its operations in America.
There’s no word on when a sale may emerge. However, we could learn more as soon as today. We’ll update this post with more information as it becomes available.