Microsoft Still Interested in Buying TikTok

Microsoft is not ready to give up on TikTok just yet.

In a statement, the tech giant said it is willing to continue discussions with U.S. President Donald Trump and ByteDance, TikTok’s parent company, to strike an acquisition deal that will make everybody happy.

By taking over TikTok operations in the U.S., Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, Microsoft hopes to allay government fears that the app might be leaking sensitive personal and federal data to its Chinese owners.

CNN notes that the move to ban TikTok comes amid burgeoning tensions between Beijing and Washinton over a number of issues, including national security concerns, trade disputes, and both nations’ approach to containing the coronavirus outbreak.

Justifying The Craze

All that’s left for Microsoft to do now is to convince the government that the content-sharing app poses zero threat once it’s out of the purview of China.

“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,” the company said in its press release.

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Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella hopes to close a deal with ByteDance no later than September 15th.

He emphasized that after the acquisition is perfected, all private data of TikTok’s American users will be transferred to and will remain in the U.S., “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.”

Trump’s True Intentions

Still, the president appears hell-bent on banishing TikTok from U.S. soil, regardless of its ownership -- a stance that many are finding to be bizarre.

For one, ByteDance executives told the Financial Times that Trump’s intervention “may just be a negotiating ploy to help Microsoft secure a better deal.”

Former Facebook chief security officer Alex Stamos shares this sentiment. 

In a tweet, he said things are becoming fishy. 

“A 100% sale to an American company would have been considered a radical solution two weeks ago and, eventually, mitigates any reasonable data protection concerns. If the White House kills this we know this isn’t about national security.”

Despite all these, TikTok remains unfazed. BBC reports that Vanessa Pappas, the TikTok’s country manager for the U.S., is brimming with optimism.

“We’re not going anywhere,” she said in a video message. “We’re here for the long run. When it comes to safety and security, we're building the safest app because we know it's the right thing to do.”

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Posted 
August 4, 2020
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