Walmart and Microsoft are teaming up to make a bid for the short-form video app TikTok, according to The New York Times. Microsoft was already in talks with TikTok owner ByteDance, but is facing competition from Oracle and Twitter, according to published reports. For sale are TikTok’s North American, Australian, and New Zealand operations, which are estimated to be worth somewhere between $20B – $30B USD.
Walmart confirmed the story, issuing the following statement Thursday:
“We are confident that a Walmart and Microsoft partnership would meet both the expectations of U.S. TikTok users while satisfying the concerns of U.S. government regulators.”
While entertaining talks to divest itself of the TikTok operation, the company also filed a lawsuit in federal court Monday challenging the executive order signed on Aug. 6 by U.S. President Donald Trump. The order directed China-based ByteDance to divest itself of the short-form video app in the United States. A subsequent executive order issued on Aug. 14 directed ByteDance to divest itself of TikTok 90 days from the date of the order, or Sept. 29.
On Wednesday, it was also revealed that TikTok CEO Kevin Mayer has left the company. The former Walt Disney executive joined TikTok as its CEO and COO of parent company ByteDance on June 1. Mayer cited the tough political environment and the challenges the company faced as the key reasons for his exit. TikTok General Manager Vanessa Pappas will step into the role for the time being.
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