Microsoft is pursuing plan to buy TikTok's global operations, report

2020-08-07

Microsoft is mulling a plan to buy all of TikTok's global operations, including its business in Europe and India, the Financial Times reported on Thursday, citing five people with knowledge of the matter.

It follows Microsoft's announcement earlier this week that it was exploring a deal to buy , Australia, New Zealand and Canada.

While the company did not disclose the amount that it was willing to pay to ByteDance for its video-sharing app, some reports claimed that the Chinese firm valued all of TikTok at more than $50 billion.

A person close to ByteDance in India also told that the two firms were also earlier exploring a deal for TikTok operations in India, but the talks failed to reach a conclusion.

A source close to Chinese firm's Asia-Pacific operations disclosed that Microsoft was showing more interest in buying TikTok's global business because of the difficulties that may surface in future in separating TikTok's back-office functions from its parent firm.

Microsoft also wants to ensure that the users of the app in one country don't face any difficulty in using it if they travel to another country.

The US software giant is reported discussing an agreement with concerned parties that would provide it one year to separate TikTok from ByteDance and to address concerns over the security of users' data.

One source following the talks said that one year would not be sufficient probably, and it could take between five and eight years to fully separate TikTok's software from ByteDance's platform.

On Monday, President Trump had said that it was "probably easier to buy the whole thing than to buy 30 per cent of it".

Late Thursday, President Donald Trump also , curtailing US transactions with TikTok and WeChat (an app owned by Chinese firm Tencent).

The orders prohibit US residents from doing business with the two apps, beginning 45 days from now.

Trump took the measures under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act that was enacted in 1977 and enables the US president to seize assets and block transactions in response to an unusual and extraordinary threat.

In his order against TikTok, Trump said that the video-sharing app automatically captures a large amount of user data, including their browsing history and location details.

"This data collection threatens to allow the Chinese Communist Party access to Americans' personal and proprietary information -- potentially allowing China to track the locations of Federal employees and contractors, build dossiers of personal information for blackmail, and conduct corporate espionage," he added.

The order also says that the US "must take aggressive action against the owners of TikTok to protect our national security".

In June, , saying that they were posing danger to the country.

The ban came following a border clash with China on 15h June.