US retail giant Walmart has confirmed today (August 27) that it is teaming with Microsoft to try strike a deal to buy TikTok’s US operations from Chinese owner ByteDance.
The US company said in a statement that it is “confident that a Walmart and Microsoft partnership would meet both the expectations of US TikTok users while satisfying the concerns of US government regulators”.
TikTok has been under growing political pressure in the US due to national security concerns over its Beijing-based parent, with an executive order signed by US President Donald Trump on August 6 that would see TikTok banned from the US within 45 days. Trump later issued a second executive order giving the company 90 days to sell its US operations.
Microsoft confirmed on Sunday, August 2 that it was in talks with ByteDance to purchase TikTok’s operations in the US, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.
The news of Walmart joining Microsoft in its pursuit of the app follows this week’s shock news that TikTok CEO Kevin Mayer has resigned less than four months into the role citing a “sharply changed” political environment, and stating further that “the role that I signed up for – including running TikTok globally – will look very different as a result of the US Administration’s action to push for a sell off of the US business”.
Writing in a note sent to staff on Wednesday (August 26), Mayer said that the company expects to “reach a resolution very soon”.
TikTok, which also revealed this week that it has 100 million monthly active users in the US alone, has named US General Manager Vanessa Pappas as Interim Head of TikTok, globally.
“The way TikTok has integrated e-commerce and advertising capabilities in other markets is a clear benefit to creators and users in those markets.”
Said Walmart in a statement: “The way TikTok has integrated e-commerce and advertising capabilities in other markets is a clear benefit to creators and users in those markets.
“We believe a potential relationship with TikTok US in partnership with Microsoft could add this key functionality and provide Walmart with an important way for us to reach and serve omnichannel customers as well as grow our third-party marketplace and advertising businesses.
“We are confident that a Walmart and Microsoft partnership would meet both the expectations of US TikTok users while satisfying the concerns of US government regulators.”Music Business Worldwide