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Bytedance refuses to sell TikTok's US operations to Microsoft

Bytedance refuses to sell TikTok's US operations to Microsoft

Sources claim Oracle has won a partnership with the company

Credit: ID 149374130 © Bigtunaonline Dreamstime.com

Microsoft has said it has been informed by Bytedance that the company will not be selling TikTok's US operations to Microsoft, with at least one source claiming Oracle has won a partnership with the company.

"ByteDance let us know today they would not be selling TikTok’s US operations to Microsoft," Microsoft said in a statement. "We are confident our proposal would have been good for TikTok’s users, while protecting national security interests.

"To do this, we would have made significant changes to ensure the service met the highest standards for security, privacy, online safety, and combatting disinformation, and we made these principles clear in our August statement.

"We look forward to seeing how the service evolves in these important areas," it added.

The move comes after a whirlwind courting period that saw Microsoft confirm in August that it was interested in buying the American business of ByteDance’s popular TikTok social-networking service, pending a review by the Trump administration, with the intention of closing the deal by mid-September.

It was later reported that Microsoft was chasing a deal to buy all of TikTok's global business, the Financial Times reported, citing five people with knowledge of the talks.

However, on the record, Microsoft had said it was seeking to buy the assets of TikTok in North America, Australia and New Zealand. It had not disclosed how much it was willing to pay, though sources previously said that ByteDance executives value all of TikTok at more than US$50 billion.

The talks emerged after TikTok faced a September 15 deadline to either complete a sale of its US operations to Microsoft or face a ban in the United States.

A person familiar with the matter has claimed a consortium led by Oracle has instead been chosen for a partnership deal for the US operations of TikTok, beating out rival bidder Microsoft.

ByteDance has been in talks to sell TikTok's US busines to potential buyers since US President Donald Trump threatened last month to ban the service if it was not sold.

ByteDance will need approval for the deal from governments of the United States and China.

(Reporting by Ann Maria Shibu in Bengaluru; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman; Additional reporting by Echo Wang in New York; Writing by Joshua Franklin; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman; With ARN Staff)


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