Microsoft Now Looks Towards TikTok’s Global Business

Microsoft is chasing a deal to buy all of TikTok’s global business, including the viral video app’s operations in India and Europe, reported The Financial Times.

The US software company announced on Sunday, August 2, it was in negotiations with ByteDance, the Chinese owner of TikTok, to explore “a purchase of the TikTok service in the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.” But Microsoft has since also pursued a plan that would include all countries where TikTok operates. 

TikTok does not operate in China, and such a deal would not extend to its China-facing sister app Douyin. Meanwhile, Microsoft executives have sought to assuage the Chinese government as it seeks to avoid being caught in crossfire between Beijing and Washington, two people said. One person close to Microsoft pushed back on the suggestion that the US tech group was discussing asset swaps in China as part of a deal.

The shift from Sunday underscores how preliminary the talks between the two sides remain as they race to meet a mid-September deadline to reach a deal and prevent TikTok from being banned in the US.  

One person close to ByteDance’s Asia-Pacific operations suggested that Microsoft had been attracted to the idea of buying all of TikTok’s global business by the difficulty of separating back-office functions such as HR and to ensure that TikTok users in one country could still use the app if they travelled to another.

Full Content: Financial Times

Want more news? Subscribe to CPI’s free daily newsletter for more headlines and updates on antitrust developments around the world.