Amidst all the uproar on social media for boycotts of China’s short video apps; disputes about the possible ban on TikTok application in the US after India and discussions with Microsoft company about taking over the TikTok operations in the United States, TikTok now has new suitors. According to reports, Twitter has fluttered in TikTok’s sweepstakes.
According to a report released by a leading media organization in the United States, a California-based Twitter company is in talks with TikTok to discuss the possibility of a merger between the two social media companies.
In short, After President Donald Trump set a fall deadline for TikTok, the video-sharing platform to strike an agreement with American companies, Twitter is working with the tech giant to acquire TikTok’s American operation.
The Wall Street Journal’s Cara Lombardo and Georgia Wells reported the two popular applications are in the preliminary discussions about a possible combination. People who are familiar with this matter told that a deal which stated that Twitter may not pursue it eventually may involve TikTok’s operation in the United States.
Twitter declined to comment on the business insider report. Josh Gartner, TikTok’s head of corporate communications stated that we can not comment on market rumors.
A few weeks ago, Donald Trump, the US President, announced a ban on the Chinese application TikTok, a short video sharing application. The application is claimed to be a front for Chinese intelligence agencies to spy on the United States. Later, Microsoft announced to acquire TikTok’s operations in the United States, thereby rescuing the Chinese application.
People familiar with this matter said that Microsoft has been in negotiations for several weeks with the owner of TikTok, Beijing based ByteDance Ltd., and is considered as a front runner of any possible deal. Satya Nadella, a Microsoft CEO, spoke with Donald Trump, the United States President, on the same matter a week ago. However, a possible takeover has not yet been confirmed.
Meanwhile, Trump has given TikTok a 45-day notice either to sell or is facing a ban, requiring that a large part of the sale belong to the United States Treasury.
According to Reuters’ report, a few days ago, China’s Bytedance agreed to divest its TikTok business in the United States. According to the agreement, Microsoft will take over the administration of the United States’ user data. Last week, Microsoft was observed as the front runner in the last week deals, and the potential trade value of TikTok’s US operations was estimated at $11 billion and $29 billion respectively.
The agreement also allows other companies other than Microsoft company to operate TikTok in the United States. This will allow the service to continue to operate in the US, thereby avoiding the alleged administrative order threatened by President Trump.
It is said that Bytedance had previously sought an agreement to allow the company to retain its minority stake in the company. Recently, after the White House rejected the proposal, the plan was abandoned.
Under this new agreement, Microsoft will be responsible for protecting the data of US users, and another US-based company will be authorized to operate TikTok. It is not clear whether this deal is sufficient to enable TikTok to continue operating in the United States.
At the same time, the United States media revealed that the social media giant Twitter, co-founded by Jack Dorsey, maybe in discussion with TikTok to merge two social media companies. According to its latest revenue as of the end of July, Twitter has approximately 187 million users.TikTok has over 110 million users in the United States alone.
Twitter’s market value is about 29 billion US dollars, lower than Microsoft’s 1.6 trillion US dollars or more. Dow Jones said that if Twitter does acquire TikTok, it will almost certainly need the help of other investors, even though the company’s investors include private equity firm Silver Lake. It is not yet clear what the deal between Twitter and TikTok is, how much it costs, or how Twitter will pay for it.
Since Twitter is a smaller company than Microsoft, Twitter will bid for TikTok for a long time and needs the support of other investors to get the deal. However, in this case, due to its size, its advantage is that it receives less scrutiny than Microsoft.
Since the report was published, people have been trying to figure out how Twitter transforms (the app’s characters and upload size are very limited) when combined with TikTok— the app usually has interesting short videos.
This is not the first time Twitter has proposed such an agreement. In 2012, Twitter acquired Vine, an app similar to TikTok, but was forced to shut it down in 2016. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey has made a brief attempt in the short film: it closed the Vine app in order to reduce costs in 2016 (that is, four years after the acquisition).
The company was also recently attacked by President Trump, who said that Twitter and Facebook Inc. are unfairly censoring him. Both social media popular platforms blocked videos shared with accounts linked to Trump because these videos violated their policies regarding coronavirus misinformation.
People familiar with these matters said that it is not yet clear whether Twitter will pursue a deal, which will involve TikTok’s business operation in the United States. Even no social media platforms (i.e Twitter and TikTok) have issued an official statement on this issue.