Microsoft has failed in its effort to acquire the U.S. operations of popular social media app TikTok, the computer giant said on Sunday.
Microsoft was an early contender to purchase part of TikTok from its Chinese owner, ByteDance, but talks have evidently led nowhere.
The announcement comes just two days before President Trump’s deadline for ByteDance to sell its American assets or see the app banned in the U.S. Trump considers the app a threat to national security.
In a statement on its website, Microsoft said: “ByteDance let us know today they would not be selling TikTok’s U.S. operations to Microsoft.
“We are confident our proposal would have been good for TikTok’s users, while protecting national security interests. To do this, we would have made significant changes to ensure the service met the highest standards for security, privacy, online safety, and combatting disinformation, and we made these principles clear in our August statement.”
The company added: “We look forward to seeing how the service evolves in these important areas.”
Attention is now turning to Oracle, which is reportedly also in talks with ByteDance over the sale of TikTok’s U.S. operations. Digital Trends has reached out to the software giant to find out more and we will update this piece when we hear back.
TikTok is looking to ensure its ongoing presence in the U.S. after President Donald Trump issued an executive order in August that said the app would be banned unless ByteDance sold its U.S. assets to an American company by September 15. Although a later executive order extended the deadline to November 12, Trump insisted to reporters last week that the deadline would not be extended and that ByteDance had until September 15 to seal a deal.
Trump considers the app a threat to national security, accusing it of taking user data that could ultimately be used by the Chinese government for nefarious purposes. TikTok has always insisted this could never happen.
UPDATE: Oracle has reportedly struck a deal to acquire TikTok’s U.S. operations.
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