Last Sunday Microsoft shared a blog post that stated that they are prepared to continue discussions in acquiring TikTok in the United States following a conversation between their CEO Satya Nadella and President Donald Trump. It is the first time the company has confirmed reports it was in talks to acquire the video-sharing platform.
The blog post read that Microsoft fully appreciated the importance of addressing the president’s concerns and they are committed to acquiring TikTok with a complete security review and providing proper financial benefits to the United States and their treasury.
Most interesting read of the blog post is where it says that Microsoft is quite in a hurry to close the deal. They are hoping to quickly pursue discussions with TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance in the following weeks and closing the deal before the 15th of September 2020.
Why is Trump trying to ban TikTok?
The president and the officials have cited National security concerns for doing this, publicly expressing worry that the Chinese-owned company will share user data with the Chinese government.
TikTok has more than 40 million unique users (180 million downloads) in the United States, which is roughly 1/8th of their population. Never the less TikTok has clearly stated that they have no received any request regarding private information on US citizens by Chinese authority and that the company would deny any such request immediately.
The reason for the U.S. officials to be sceptical about this is the research of their Chinese Law experts who say that Beijing has broad powers to force private companies to comply with government requests for information of any sought.
But is that really the truth? Or is this decision based on something as simple as hurt feelings?
Yes, we are referring to Trump’s rally where he expected over 20,000 people in attendance after months of COVID 19 lockdown! And it was totally ruined for him by TikTokers and other young people online who coordinated a campaign to register for tickets to the event and never show up. What if the ban on TikTok is retaliation for that?
It’s a theory and no one other than Trump himself and a bunch of has-beens knows the real reason behind this ban. But as a hypothesis and considering the fact that we are talking about a guy who tried to build a wall to prevent South Americans from “injecting” the U.S., it does make sense and has a convincing timeline.
How can Microsoft’s acquisition prevent the ban?
Let’s say for once Trump is concerned about the security of US citizens. In that case, will Microsoft’s acquisition of TikTok prevent the ban? Let’s look into Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella’s proposition.
If Microsoft were to acquire TikTok in the US, the company said it would ensure that all private data of TikTok users will be transferred and stored in the U.S. itself. Microsoft also mentioned in a statement that they would go to the extent of deleting all data stored offshore once the transfer is completed.
On the contrary TikTok claims that none of its data on U.S. citizens is stored in China. Instead, the company says it maintains servers in Virginia with backup storage in Singapore.
TikTok maintains that its ByteDance headquarters in Beijing does not have direct access to data linked to its U.S. users.
Confusing isn’t it?
Will the deal come through?
The blog post describes the discussions as “Preliminary” between TikTok and Microsoft. It also addresses the privacy concerns, saying the company would “ensure that all private data of TikTok’s American users are transferred to and remains in the United States.
Some in the Trump camp are still sceptical about the acquisition and still fear that it would not completely guarantee the National security concerns of the United States.
We really don’t know the motive behind the ban of TikTok! However, Trump, who told reporters that he does not support an American company seizing control of TikTok’s US assets on Saturday, seemed to have changed his mind, as the Blog post released by Microsoft on Sunday appears to indicate that the parties may have been able to hammer out terms that placate Trump.
We believe the chances are high of a deal falling through if it covers all National security concerns! But with Trump, you never could know! Might request Microsoft to build a wall to secure the Nation!