Walmart Inc. said it is in talks with Microsoft Corp. for the U.S. business of Chinese video-sharing app TikTok, which is facing a ban by U.S. President Donald Trump.
With its move, the retail giant hopes to use the highly popular mobile app’s integrated e-commerce and advertising capabilities to reach its own omnichannel customers. According to the company, a potential relationship with TikTok U.S. in partnership with Microsoft could also grow its third-party marketplace and advertising businesses.
In a statement, Walmart said, “We are confident that a Walmart and Microsoft partnership would meet both the expectations of U.S. TikTok users while satisfying the concerns of U.S. government regulators.”
Earlier this month, Microsoft had announced its talks with TikTok’s Chinese parent ByteDance Ltd. to buy the app’s business in the US, New Zealand, Australia and Canada. Oracle also joined later in the race to buy TikTok’s U.S operations.
Bloomberg now reported, citing people familiar with the matter, that Oracle and Microsoft have submitted bids to China’s ByteDance to buy the US operations of its TikTok app. Microsoft’s bid includes a partnership with Walmart.
A deal is expected to come within a week, before the scheduled 45-day time for the proposed ban to come into effect unless it is bought by a domestic company.
It was on August 6 that Trump signed the Executive Order to ban TikTok, along with another Chinese firm WeChat, citing a threat to national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States.
Following Trump’s order, TikTok filed a lawsuit in federal court challenging the Administration’s decision, taking strong exception to the allegation that the company is a national security threat.
Amid these developments, TikTok’s Kevin Mayer, who took charge as Chief Executive Officer on June 1, resigned. He has been replaced by TikTok, General Manager Vanessa Pappas.
TikTok is already banned by India citing threat to national security, while the company earlier decided to exit Hong Kong market after China established a new national security law for the semi-autonomous city.
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