TikTok rejects offer Microsoft buyout

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US tech giant Microsoft said Sunday its offer to buy TikTok was rejected, leaving Oracle as the sole remaining bidder ahead of a looming deadline for the Chinese- owned video app to sell or shut down its US operations .tt

The Wall Street Journal and New York Times reported that Oracle had won the bidding war , citing people familiar with the deal , although the company did not immediately confirm the matter .

The Oracle bid would next need approval from the White House and Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States , a source told the Journal, with both parties under the belief it would meet US data security concerns .

TikTok has been at the center of a diplomatic storm between Washington and Beijing , and President Donald Trump has given Americans a deadline to stop doing business with TikTok ’ s Chinese parent company ByteDance — effectively compelling a sale of the app to a US company .

Microsoft had indicated at the beginning of August that it was interested in acquiring TikTok ’ s US operations , but said Sunday that bid had been rejected.

“ ByteDance let us know today they would not be selling TikTok ’ s US operations to Microsoft , ” the US tech giant said in a statement .

“ We are confident our proposal would have been good for TikTok ’ s users , while protecting national security interests , ” it added .

In early August , Trump issued an executive order stating that if a purchase agreement were not reached by September 20 , the platform would have to close in the United States.

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Trump claims that TikTok could be used by China to track the locations of federal employees , build dossiers on people for blackmail and conduct corporate espionage.


Downloaded 175 million times in the US , TikTok is used by as many as a billion people worldwide to make quirky , short – form videos on their cellphones .

It has repeatedly denied sharing data with Beijing .

Microsoft said it would have “ made significant changes to ensure the service met the highest standards for security , privacy , online safety , and combatting disinformation. ”

A deal with Microsoft could also have included Walmart, which joined forces with the tech giant in negotiations .

In late August China’ s commerce ministry published new rules potentially making it more difficult for ByteDance to sell TikTok to a US entity by adding “ civilian use ” to a list of technologies that are restricted for export .

ByteDance had vowed to “ strictly abide ” by new export rules.

Powered TikTok meanwhile has filed a lawsuit challenging the crackdown by the US government , contending that Trump ’ s order was a misuse of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act because the platform is not “an unusual and extraordinary threat . ”

Controversially Trump has demanded that the US government get a cut of any deal , which critics contend appears unconstitutional and akin to extortion .

Washington has accused other Chinese tech firms such as Huawei of working in the interests of the Chinese Communist Party .

Bidding for TikTok comes amid a broader deterioration of relations between the world ’ s top two economies in recent months , with the US and China locked in fierce recriminations over trade disputes , human rights and the origins of the coronavirus pandemic.

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