TikTok may announce deal to sell off US, Australian and New Zealand business today | HT Tech

TikTok may announce deal to sell off US, Australian and New Zealand business today

TikTok has reportedly chosen a buyer for its US, Australian and New Zealand businesses and might announce the deal later today.

By: HT TECH
| Updated on: Sep 01 2020, 13:10 IST
The top contenders for the deal are Microsoft in partnership with Walmart and Oracle and the sale price of the deal is expected to be anywhere between $20 billion to $30 billion, as per reports.
The top contenders for the deal are Microsoft in partnership with Walmart and Oracle and the sale price of the deal is expected to be anywhere between $20 billion to $30 billion, as per reports. (Pixabay)

TikTok has been in talks with various companies in the hope to sell its US operations along with businesses in a few other countries like Australia, New Zealand, Canada etc before the deadline (September 20) given by the Trump administration closes in. According to CNBC, TikTok has chosen a bidder for its US, Australian and New Zealand businesses and might announce the deal later today.

The top contenders for the deal are Microsoft in partnership with Walmart and Oracle and the sale price of the deal is expected to be anywhere between $20 billion to $30 billion, as per reports.

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However, this deal is not expected to go down easy.

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Even if TikTok has chosen a buyer, the deal could be entirely derailed or slowed down by the Chinese government. China updated its technology export list on Friday to include artificial intelligence technology used by TikTok. Parent company ByteDance said over the weekend that it would need a license from the Chinese government before it can sell its business to an American company.

While Microsoft and Oracle were the first names in the bidder pool, Walmart turned up as a surprise contender last week. The retail giant said that TikTok would augment its e-commerce efforts to explain why they wanted in.

According to reports, Walmart was looking to be the majority owner in the deal in a consortium that included Alphabet (Google's parent company) and SoftBank. However, the US government wanted a tech company to lead the deal, said sources. This lead to Alphabet and SoftBank dropping out and Walmart partnering up with Microsoft. Now, if this deal comes through for the two companies, Walmart will be the minority owner of TikTok.

In a build-up to TikTok selling its US operations, TikTok CEO Kevin Mayer resigned last week. He had joined the company only four months ago. TikTok's current interim boss Vanessa Pappas told CNBC that she saw “synergies with Walmart thanks to new e-commerce tools inside the TikTok app”.

That given, perhaps it is not too hard to predict who TikTok's buyer of choice is going to be. We just need to wait for the announcement now.

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First Published Date: 01 Sep, 13:10 IST
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