Reports on Friday suggested the Trump administration would potentially force TikTok’s Chinese owner to divest it. Such a move triggered rumors about Microsoft potentially acquiring TikTok’s US operations, a move that Trump appeared to downplay on Friday.
“[It’s] not the deal that you have been hearing about, that they are going to buy and sell, and this and that. And Microsoft and another one. We’re not an M&A company,”
Trump’s announcement followed frantic negotiations on Friday between the White House, ByteDance, and potential buyers of TikTok, including Microsoft. They failed to produce a deal that would result in the Chinese company shedding the app’s US operations, according to people familiar with the matter. The talks are expected to continue in the coming days.
But ByteDance’s valuation expectations for TikTok of more than $50 billion, and its insistence on retaining a minority stake in the app complicated deal talks, another source said.