TikTok is almost ready to announce a buyer, but the Chinese government could delay a deal
The saga surrounding Microsoft’s bid to buy TikTok could come to an end soon, according to a new report. CNBC reports that TikTok has selected a buyer for its US, Australian and New Zealand businesses. An announcement of the deal could come “as early as Tuesday,” the report said.
Microsoft, Walmart, and Oracle are all in the mix as potential owners. Microsoft acknowledged that it was looking to buy TikTok earlier this month, while Walmart said last week that it was partnering with Microsoft on an offering. If the Microsoft-Walmart partnership is successful, it would make Walmart a minority owner with a deal worth between $ 20 billion and $ 30 billion, CNBC notes.
Selling TikTok with problems
However, the sale could have problems. Last week, the Chinese government included TikTok’s artificial intelligence technology on a technology export list. The upshot is that TikTok owner ByteDance would need a license from the Chinese government to sell the short video platform to any American company.
Reports emerged last week that a TikTok sale was imminent. The deal is on a strict timetable after an executive order from the Trump administration dictated that TikTok must be sold or it will be banned. Since then, TikTok has sued the US government, claiming that the executive order was rushed without giving TikTok a chance to defend itself against claims that it is a security threat.
Last week, TikTok CEO Kevin Mayer resigned from his position, citing the changing political environment as the reason for his departure. TikTok North America CEO Vanessa Pappas took over as the company’s global director.