TikTok is seemingly up for grabs and Twitter is the latest contender for a piece of the giant short video making company. Twitter has reportedly approached the Chinese owner of ByteDance to express interest in acquiring its US operations.
Last week, US President Donald Trump signed an executive order prohibiting any kind of business transactions with ByteDance and TenCent, the companies that own TikTok and WeChat respectively. They were given 45 days to complete any sales deals in the offing or face a ban.
TikTok has been in sales talks with Microsoft in the last few weeks, with the latter looking to buy part or all of the company. Twitter has now joined the list of potential suitors, although it is still not clear if they can afford to buy the company and complete a deal within the stipulated 45 day period.
Experts, however, believe that a possible Twitter deal would face less regulatory scrutiny compared to Microsoft.
Twitter is yet to comment on the TikTok deal.
ByteDance is facing a possible ban from the US following privacy allegations against the company. TikTok has been accused of gathering and sharing personal data with the Chinese government, proving to be a National Security Threat.
Following Trump’s executive order against the company, TikTok has threatened legal action against the US president saying it is ‘shocked’ by the move.
Last week, Trump said that he would support the Microsoft-TikTok deal so long as as the treasury received a “substantial portion” from the proceeds of the sale. He gave a September 15th deadline for the companies to finalize the deal.
Microsoft said it intends to hasten discussions for TikTok’s operations in the US, Australia, Canada and New Zealand.
“Even if the deal goes through, be it Microsoft or Twitter taking a substantial stake in TikTok, what remains to be seen is how both parties are going to move forward operationally,” said communications expert Sharon Koh.
“It will also take a tumultuous effort for both organisations to meander through the political sensitivities,” she added.