Tik Tok rejects purchase offer from Microsoft
The Tik Tok application will not be left in the hands of Microsoft, after ByteDance, the Chinese owner of the video application, rejected a purchase offer from the US giant, which reopens the game on the future of the application in the United States.
The Californian giant Oracle appears well positioned to reach some kind of collaboration agreement with TikTok, although this would not include a sale, according to the Wall Street Journal, which cites sources close to the investigation.
"ByteDance let us know that it will not sell Tik Tok's US operations to Microsoft. We are convinced that our proposal would have been good for Tik Tok users, while also protecting national security interests," Microsoft reported in a statement.
The US group had indicated in early August its interest in buying the US operations of TikTok, which is under threat of being officially banned in the country.
President Donald Trump, who for months has accused the popular social network of alleged spying on behalf of China without proof, signed decrees to force ByteDance to quickly sell Tik Tok's activities on US soil. Trump also demanded that a significant part of any eventual transaction go to the US Treasury, sparking a cascade of criticism.
If a purchase-sale agreement is not reached before September 20, the platform must close in the United States. Meanwhile, the application filed a lawsuit against the US government regarding this measure.
"We would have made significant changes to ensure that the service met the highest standards of security, respect for privacy and the fight against disinformation," Microsoft said.
At the end of August, the Walmart store group confirmed that it had partnered with Microsoft in the negotiations to acquire the platform where short videos are shared, generally humorous or musical. The alliance of the two American giants was not, however, enough.
"We thought that Microsoft wanted to buy TikTok only with its main algorithm, a condition in which the Chinese government and ByteDance did not want to give in," Daniel Ives, an analyst at Wedbush Securites, said in a note.
"And given the need to get the green light from Beijing, after the changes in export rules a few weeks ago, the days of Tik Tok in the United States may be numbered," he continued.
At the end of August, the Chinese Ministry of Commerce amended its list of technologies with export limitations or prohibitions, which now includes artificial intelligence technologies such as those that have made TikTok successful, in which videos are shown to users more depending on their tastes than their contacts.
According to The Wall Street Journal, Oracle is about to be designated TikTok's "technology partner" in the United States. A direct sale is not contemplated at the moment, according to the sources cited by the American newspaper.
On their side, Chinese state media assured that ByteDance would not sell TikTok to Oracle. The CGTN television channel and the China News Service press agency did not specify the sources of this claim.
In August, the application exceeded 2 billion downloads in the world and claims to be present in more than 200 countries. In the United States, the social network claims to have 100 million monthly users.