- US group explores whether it can add regions including India and Europe to deal for video app’s US arm
Microsoft is chasing a deal to buy all of TikTok’s global business, including the viral video app’s operations in India and Europe, according to five people with knowledge of the talks. The US software company said on Sunday it was in negotiations with ByteDance, the Chinese owner of TikTok, to explore “a purchase of the TikTok service in the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand”. But Microsoft has since also pursued a plan that would include all countries where TikTok operates. TikTok does not operate in China, and such a deal would not extend to its China-facing sister app Douyin.
Meanwhile, Microsoft executives have sought to assuage the Chinese government as it seeks to avoid being caught in cross fire between Beijing and Washington, two of the people said. One person close to Microsoft pushed back on the suggestion that the US tech group was discussing asset swaps in China as part of a deal. The shift from Sunday underscores how preliminary the talks between the two sides remain as they race to meet a mid-September deadline to reach a deal and prevent TikTok from being banned in the US.