TikTok is getting really close to selling its U.S. operations after news broke out that it may be facing a potential ban in the United States. The Chinese video-sharing social networking service has piqued the interest of many tech giants including Microsoft.
On Wednesday, September 2, TikTok CEO Kevin Mayer resigned amid the Trump Administration’s growing pressure on the app and its potential ban. This has led to many speculations that the Chinese parent of the company, ByteDance, will soon announce that negotiations to sell the operations are formal and will be soon finalized. On Thursday morning, September 3, right after Mayer’s resignation, Walmart confirmed that it will go in with longtime technology partner company Microsoft on a bid for the app.
In a statement released by Walmart Inc., the company applauds the integration of e-commerce and advertising capabilities to the app, and assured that they would benefit from these avenues: “We believe a potential relationship with TikTok US in partnership with Microsoft could add this key functionality and provide Walmart with an important way for us to reach and serve omnichannel customers as well as grow our third-party marketplace and advertising businesses.”
This is huge news, and one that reminds us that capitalism is still—much contentiously— alive and well. TikTok is pursuing this deal while fighting for its independence in the U.S. (by suing the administration for being accused of posing a national threat) and it is clear that the company is in a bind. We are hoping for the best.