The US retail giant Walmart has teamed up with Microsoft to make a conjoint bid for TikTok’s US operations. Walmart has decided to proceed with the deal eyeing its operations expansions through the Chinese video-sharing app that has stirred up many controversies and diplomatic exchanges between Beijing and Washington.
TikTok has been given an ultimatum of 90 days deadline to sell its US operations to an American firm or face a country ban. US President Donald Trump and his administration have maintained that the app, which is owned by China-based firm ByteDance, is a threat to national security as it is sharing the user data with Beijing. The claims have however been denied by the company and China both. In the latest development, TikTok’s CEO Kevin Mayer resigned on Thursday.
A Walmart spokesperson said, “We are confident that a Walmart and Microsoft partnership would meet both the expectations of US TikTok users while satisfying the concerns of US government regulators.” Walmart said that it is up for competing against prospective bidders which includes US tech giant Oracle. Reports suggest that once deal finalizes, the TikTok US operations can fetch up to $30 billion.
Trump administration has accused the firm of sharing user data with Beijing and hence posing a major threat to national security. US authorities say that at least 800 million user data is at risk of exploitation by the Chinese authorities. ByteDance founder Zhang Yiming has faced harsh criticism over his decision of selling US operations of TikTok. But the firm defends its decision as to the only way of saving the company from ban in the US. US has also moved ahead with banning more China-based firms and apps including WeChat.
Read more articles: https://www.diplomacy24.com/category/north-america/