After a conversation between Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and President Donald J. Trump, Microsoft is prepared to continue discussions to explore a purchase of TikTok in the United States. According to an official blog post, “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.”
In weeks ahead, Microsoft will move quickly to pursue discussions with TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance. The tech giants these discussions no later than September 15, 2020. During this process, Microsoft looks forward to continuing dialogue with the United States Government, including with the President.
The discussions with ByteDance will build upon a notification made by Microsoft and ByteDance to the Committee Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS). The two companies have provided notice of their intent to explore a preliminary proposal that would involve a purchase of the TikTok service in the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand and would result in Microsoft owning and operating TikTok app in these markets. Microsoft may invite other American investors to participate on a minority basis in this purchase.
According to Microsoft, “This new structure would build on the experience TikTok users currently love, while adding world-class security, privacy, and digital safety protections. The operating model for the service would be built to ensure transparency to users as well as appropriate security oversight by governments in these countries.”
Among other measures, Microsoft would ensure that all private data of TikTok’s American users is transferred to and remains in the United States. 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.
Microsoft appreciates the US Government’s and President Trump’s personal involvement as it continues to develop strong security protections for the country. These discussions are preliminary and there can be no assurance that a transaction which involves Microsoft will proceed.
Recently, Mastercard and Microsoft Corp. announced a collaboration to shape the future of digital commerce, drive startup innovation and enable financial inclusion. The collaboration will accelerate Mastercard Labs’ cloud native research and development activities, enabled by Azure and AI, to advance Mastercard Labs’ mission to de-risk and commercialize emerging technologies and platforms for digital commerce. Through access to technical expertise and cutting-edge technologies, Mastercard’s partners will be further empowered to build and securely scale new solutions.