TikTok Crisis Grows: Microsoft halts acquisition deal

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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Global software giant, Microsoft has reportedly stopped its deal negotiations with Chinese short video sharing app TikTok’s US operations as US President Donald Trump hinted at a ban on the platform irrespective of it becomes a US company or not.

President Trump said that he could use the emergency economic powers or an executive order to ban TikTok in the country. “As far as TikTok is concerned, we’re banning them from the United States,” Mr. President stated.

“Well, I have that authority. I can do it with an executive order or that”. President Trump made it clear that he was not in favor of a deal to let a US company buy TikTok’s American operations.

Earlier at the White House, Mr. President said, “We’re looking at TikTok. We may be banning TikTok. We may be doing some other things. There are a couple of options. But a lot of things are happening, so we’ll see what happens. But we are looking at a lot of alternatives with respect to TikTok.”

As per reports Microsoft was in advanced talks with Beijing-based Bytedance to procure US operations of TikTok and the negotiations were gaining momentum toward a deal which they believed met the White House goal for the popular app to get bought by a US company. However, the deal seems to have collapsed or moved into uncertainty after their plans were interrupted when President Trump told reporters that he preferred to ban the app and wouldn’t support a sale.

Reports suggest that the news from the White House encouraged TikTok to make additional concessions such as agreeing to add as many as 10,000 jobs in the U.S. over the next three years, but it isn’t clear whether it will alter Trump’s stance on the matter.

Bytedance Ltd. Founder Zhang Yiming was going to retain a minority stake under the deal being discussed before Trump’s remarks. Later, He allegedly agreed to sell his entire stake as part of the deal which was supposed to finalized by Monday.