Trump is making waves on social media – but a different style to his normal approach this time. This is actual change.
Having called for Chinese owned TikTok to be banned from the United States, President Trump at first was mocked for calling for something that seemed technically difficult if not impossible – but as the days go on it seems clear he may get his wish.
Microsoft has confirmed the company is in talks to buy the US TikTok operations, and that purchase would include Australian TikTok accounts.
It seems clear from Microsoft’s statement they are working closely with the President on how to best make the purchase work, and that Bytedance – the company that owns TikTok seem happy to walk away from major western markets in return for a solid pay-day.
The markets included in the proposed deal include the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.
Given Instagram was sold for a Billion dollars and added much more than that to the value of Facebook over time, it does seem a smart purchase for Microsoft.
The statement from Microsoft outlines details of the deal, including looking to complete the purchase by September 15, and confirming all data would be moved to the United States.
Here’s Microsoft’s statement in-full:
Following a conversation between Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and President Donald J. Trump, Microsoft is prepared to continue discussions to explore a purchase of TikTok in the United States.
Microsoft fully appreciates the importance of addressing the President’s concerns. It is committed to acquiring TikTok subject to a complete security review and providing proper economic benefits to the United States, including the United States Treasury.
Microsoft will move quickly to pursue discussions with TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, in a matter of weeks, and in any event completing these discussions no later than September 15, 2020. During this process, Microsoft looks forward to continuing dialogue with the United States Government, including with the President.
The discussions with ByteDance will build upon a notification made by Microsoft and ByteDance to the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS). The two companies have provided notice of their intent to explore a preliminary proposal that would involve a purchase of the TikTok service in the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand and would result in Microsoft owning and operating TikTok in these markets. Microsoft may invite other American investors to participate on a minority basis in this purchase.
This new structure would build on the experience TikTok users currently love, while adding world-class security, privacy, and digital safety protections. The operating model for the service would be built to ensure transparency to users as well as appropriate security oversight by governments in these countries.
Among other measures, Microsoft would ensure that all private data of TikTok’s American users is transferred to and remains in the United States. To the extent that any such data is currently stored or backed-up outside the United States, Microsoft would ensure that this data is deleted from servers outside the country after it is transferred.
Microsoft appreciates the U.S. Government’s and President Trump’s personal involvement as it continues to develop strong security protections for the country.
These discussions are preliminary and there can be no assurance that a transaction which involves Microsoft will proceed. We do not intend to provide further updates until there is a definitive outcome to our discussions.