Microsoft “Committed” to TikTok Acqusition, Pending Review

A Sunday update to Microsoft Corporation’s blog provided details on the progress of its possible acquisition of TikTok, a video-sharing social networking service owned by Beijiing-based ByteDance. The proposed purchase would give Microsoft ownership and operatorship of the service in the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. Microsoft noted that it may invite other investors to become minority TikTok shareholders too.

The blog post comes after Microsoft’s CEO, Satya Nadella, spoke with President Donald Trump concerning the acquisition. The discussions follow China-related security concerns that have caused a slew of American companies to ban employees from using TikTok. The President himself has also considered banning the video-sharing service.

Microsoft confirmed that “[i]t is committed to acquiring TikTok subject to a complete security review and providing proper economic benefits to the United States, including the United States Treasury.” The company remarked that it “appreciates the U.S. Government’s and President Trump’s personal involvement as it continues to develop strong security protections for the country.”

If the deal goes through, Microsoft wrote that it would, “ensure that all private data of TikTok’s American users is transferred to and remains in the United States. To the extent that any such data is currently stored or backed-up outside the United States, Microsoft would ensure that this data is deleted from servers outside the country after it is transferred.”

According to the blog post, TikTok’s “new structure” would “build on the experience [] users currently love, while adding world-class security, privacy, and digital safety protections.” Its operating model would also “ensure transparency” and “appropriate security oversight by governments…” Though the deal is “preliminary,” Microsoft disclosed that it and ByteDance have notified the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States of their possible transaction.