Microsoft is ready to press ahead with discussions to explore a possible acquisition of TikTok in the United States, following talks between CEO Satya Nadella and U.S. President Donald Trump, the company confirm in a statement on its company blog on Aug. 3. The statement comes one day after media outlets reported that Trump opposed the idea of Microsoft buying TikTok and would take action to entirely ban the app in the US.
According to the statement, Microsoft will keep working with the U.S. government on a deal and that it intends to conclude talks by Sept. 15. The two companies have explored the proposal of Microsoft buying TikTok in the U.S., Canada, Australia and New Zealand, while Microsoft might offer other American investors the chance to get involved in the acquisition on a minority basis.
“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 US, including the US Treasury,” Microsoft said. “This new structure would build on the experience TikTok users currently love, while adding world-class security, privacy, and digital safety protections.”
On Sunday night local time, before Microsoft released the statement, ByteDance, the parent company of TikTok released a statement in Chinese. ByteDance said in the statement that is has always been about becoming a global company. “In this process, we have faced all kinds of complex and unimaginable difficulties, including the tense international political climate, the collision and conflict between different cultures, and the plagiarism and smear tactics by our competitor Facebook” said ByteDance. “But we still adhere to the vision of globalization, and will continue to investment in the global market, including China, to create value for global users.”
ByteDance considers Facebook a rival in the global market. To compete with TikTok in the short video market, Facebook launched Lasso, an app almost identical to TikTok and Reels, which is backed by its subsidiary Instagram. Microsoft landed a strategic alliance with Facebook after investing $240 million in the company in 2007, and since then the two companies have worked together on various initiatives.