The Beijing-based ByteDance is considering diverse options for the popular video-sharing app, TikTok, as there is enormous pressure from the US government to give up control of the app. The app allows users to create short videos with special effects, and it has become very popular with US teenagers. The success of the app within a short period has helped to transform ByteDance into a global Chinese conglomerate. As per reports, some investors of ByteDance are willing to take over the app after valuing it at USD 50 billion.
The investors are in talks to use their stakes in the firm to finance the bid for TikTok. The company is thinking of divesting the operations in North America, Australia & New Zealand to potential acquirers like Oracle and Microsoft. Investment firm General Atlantic has shown interest in owning significant stakes in the TikTok assets, which would mean minority stakes for Microsoft or Oracle.
US President Donald Trump had ordered the Chinese company, ByteDance, to sever all ties with the social media app due to ton concerns over the safety of personal information on the app. The President expected a major US company to lead the deals on TikTok. As of now, Microsoft is the lead bidder for the TikTokn assets as it has significant funds and the technical expertise to design new algorithms for the app that will separate it from ByteDance. The company is working hard on a blueprint so that TikTok is operationally separated from ByteDance as soon as a deal is reached. Microsoft has said that a deal can be inked by September 15.
TikTok has emerged as a flashpoint in the bitter dispute between the world’s two largest economies. The US President has confirmed that his government will support Microsoft’s efforts to buy the US operations of the TikTok app if the US government is assured of a substantial part of the proceeds. However, it is not easy as there are other credible buyers in the fray, such as Oracle.