What is the Future of TikTok?

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Key Points:

  • What’s going on with TikTok?
  • TikTok “Out Of Business” In the US If Not Sold By Mid-September: Donald Trump
  • What Would Microsoft Do With TikTok?
  • Will TikTok make a comeback in India?

On Monday, US President Donald Trump said the famous Chinese app, TikTok, would be banned in the country beginning on September 15, unless it is bought by an American corporation and suggested that a large amount of the purchasing deal would go to the treasury.

Earlier the news was that ByteDance (Tiktok) was thinking about selling a majority stake in the app to some of its U.S. investors, who would at some point take the company public, the news came the same day as the House of Representatives voted to ban TikTok on federal employees’ government-issued phones.

However, the president is in favor of a complete 100% purchase and not the 30 percent as reportedly being negotiated now.

By the end of last week, TikTok ‘s days in the U.S. appeared to have been counted. “We ‘re banning them from the United States as far as TikTok is concerned,” President Trump said on Friday about the immensely successful social network, which his administration considers to be a national security risk due to its control in China.

TikTok does not have any space for traditional display ads and is not even in competition with other social media platforms, in terms of it being a marketing channel. However, due to its fast growth and rising popularity, many brands are now realizing the potential of TikTok as a marketing channel.

Several brands have utilized techniques like TikTok challenges and contests to get users to generate brand-related content. Brands are also leveraging hashtags, in a more or less similar fashion as on other social media platforms, to promote their TikTok marketing campaigns.

But behind the scenes, Microsoft was exploring a takeover bid for TikTok’s American operations, which gained traction thanks to lobbying from some of the president’s top advisers and Republican lawmakers.

Now, Microsoft has six weeks to seal a deal for TikTok, which says it has 100 million users in the U.S. In a statement, Microsoft said it would “move quickly” to pursue a deal with TikTok’s parent, Beijing-based ByteDance, aiming to wrap it up by Sept. 15. Microsoft will conduct “a complete security review” of the company, it said, and pledged to keep all American users’ data within the U.S. and sever any connections to systems abroad.

But why is Microsoft interested in this deal? If you dig a little deeper into Microsoft’s future ambitions, though, a move to acquire TikTok’s operations in the US, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand could benefit many of Microsoft’s existing businesses while also setting the company up as a real competitor to YouTube and Facebook.

What is the only thing this world is working on? DATA, DATA, AND MORE DATA

The key part of any TikTok deal will be the data and users Microsoft gains access to. This is the driving force behind concerns from the Trump administration over TikTok’s potential ties to the Chinese government and how that data might be misused.

How much will it cost?

Last week, a group of investors, including Sequoia Capital and General Atlantic, floated a $50 billion bid for TikTok, according to Reuters. Microsoft is interested only in TikTok’s businesses in the U.S., Australia, Canada, and New Zealand, and may invite other “American investors” to take minority stakes.

The time pressure, and alternative of a shutdown, may give Microsoft the upper hand in negotiations with ByteDance. But the Chinese company does not seem resigned to a forced sale: In a letter to employees today, ByteDance’s C.E.O., Zhang Yiming, said he disagreed with the order to sell its American operations and stressed that no decisions about TikTok’s fate had been made. “The attention of the outside world and rumors around TikTok might last for a while,” he wrote.

It seems like if Microsoft or any other company buys TikTok then it might make a comeback in India but there will be further talks with the GOI regarding the same. All the data will be stored safely in the US and the Chinese connection will be cut off.

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