By Garrett Ferguson & Gary Gilbert & Nexter Media Wire
Posted: August 27, 2020 / 02:19 pm EDT
/ Update: August 27, 2020 / 02:19 PM EDT
WASHINGTON, DC – August 07: In this photo illustration, the download page for the TikTok app appears on an Apple iPhone in Washington DC on August 7, 2020. On Thursday evening, President Donald Trump signed an executive order banning tic-tac-toe, bite-dancing and any transactions between U.S. citizens due to national security concerns. The president has signed a separate executive order banning transactions with China-based technology firm Tencent, which owns the app WeChat. Both orders will be effective within 45 days. (Draw Anger / Getty Images via Photos)
Bentonville, Ark. (KNWA) – Walmart says it has partnered with Microsoft in a bid for TickTock.
Tiktok has earned millions of users worldwide through its funny, silly videos. But the United States is pressuring its Chinese owner to sell the business in the United States if they want to continue working in the country.
The Trump administration is forcing TickTock to sell U.S. activities because of Chinese ownership and has threatened to ban the app, according to TickTock, which has 100 million U.S. users citing national-security concerns. Tiktok, owned by Chinese technology company ByteDance, has filed a lawsuit against the ban, but not a sale order. Microsoft has confirmed talks with TickTock; Other technology companies such as Oracle are also reportedly interested in the possible acquisition.
Walmart issued a statement confirming the partnership report:
“The way Tiktok has integrated e-commerce and advertising capabilities in other markets is clearly beneficial for market makers and users. We believe that a potential relationship in the U.S. with Tiktok in partnership with Microsoft could add this key functionality and provide Olmert with an important way to reach and serve our universal customers as well as grow our third-party marketplace and advertising business. We are confident that the partnership between Walmart and Microsoft will meet the expectations of both U.S. TickTock users while addressing the concerns of U.S. government regulators. “
Tiktok, owned by Chinese technology company ByteDance, says it is interested in selling its U.S. operations and has threatened legal action if it is not treated fairly.
U.S. authorities have expressed concern that TickTock users’ data will be returned to Chinese authorities and that it censors content that would annoy China. Tiktok denies that it has shared user data with the Chinese government and will not do so without censoring the video when asked or at the request of Chinese authorities, saying it is not a national-security threat.
The sales situation has become abnormal as President Donald Trump has demanded that the US government pay for its participation in extending the deal, with experts saying the incident is unprecedented. The president said Aug. 18 that Oracle is “a great company” that can “manage” Tiktok purchases. He declined to say a preference between Oracle and Microsoft as buyers.
Over the past year, Tiktok has tried to keep a distance between its app and its Chinese ownership. It installed the former top Disney executive as its American chief executive – who left a few months later – and also named the two American chief security officers and general advisers.
Microsoft and Walmart are already business partners, providing Microsoft cloud computing services that help retailers run stores and online shopping. The two companies signed a 5-year partnership in 2018, enabling them to join forces against joint rival Amazon.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.