U.S. president Donald Trump said at the White House on August 3rd: “Unless Microsoft or other companies can buy TikTok and close a deal, TikTok will be forced to close its U.S. operations on September 15.” In addition, Mr. Trump said that as part of the deal, buying companies should pay “a lot of money” to the federal government. At the close of trading on August 3rd, Microsoft’s shares were up 5.62 per cent at $216.54, with a one-day market value of $87.2bn and a market capitalisation of $1.64trillion, the second-highest in the world, behind Apple.
On Friday, Mr. Trump said he would issue an executive order the next day banning TikTok’s U.S. operations, sparking a massive debate about the future fate of Byte Dance and TikTok. But the White House took no official action over the weekend after Mr. Trump held talks with Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella about the company’s intention to buy TikTok.
On August 2nd, U.S. time, Microsoft said in a statement on its official website that it would continue negotiations to acquire TikTok’s U.S. operations, which would be completed by September 15. Byte Dance is in talks to acquire TikTok’s operations in the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. If the acquisition is successful, Microsoft will own and operate TikTok in these markets.
Steve Ballmer, microsoft’s former ceo, later called The company’s pursuit of TikTok “exciting”. At the same time, Microsoft has the ability to deal with any regulatory issues that come with it. “Even in corporate business, there is always a question of national sovereignty. If you store data where you store it, it’s going to be a continuation of a theme, and I think Microsoft has a real understanding of the subject, which stems from a history and a record of having to work with the government (antitrust case) and understanding that government is part of everything. Mr Ballmer said.
“We do not agree with the decision to sell TikTok’s North American business because we have always insisted on ensuring user data security, platform neutrality and transparency,” Zhang Yiming, founder and CEO of Beijing-funded Byte Dance Technology Co., Ltd., said in an internal letter on August 3. “But given the current circumstances, Zhang said, the company must face CFIUS’s decision and the U.S. president’s executive order, without giving up exploring any possibilities, including trying to make preliminary discussions with a technology company about a partnership plan to form a plan to ensure that TikTok continues to serve U.S. users.”
ByteDance has always been committed to becoming a global company and, as things stand, is considering re-establishing ItsTikTok headquarters outside the U.S. to better serve global users, according to a statement released on the same day.
British media reported that the British government is now setting up TikTok’s headquarters in London “green light”, ministers expressed support, and said the plan will be announced in the next few days. A previous UK government spokesman said: “Byte Dance’s decision to locate its global headquarters is a business decision for the company. Britain is a fair and open investment market and supports economic growth and employment. “