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TikTok sale in key western markets imminent: reports

TikTok sale in key western markets imminent: reports

Microsoft, Walmart, Twitter and Oracle have made bids for TikTok

The sale of TikTok’s operations in key western operations may be finalised ‘within the next couple of days’, a new report by CNBC says, citing anonymous sources.

The sale had looked doubtful after TikTok’s parent company ByteDance filed a complaint last week in federal court, challenging the Trump administration’s efforts to ban the video-sharing app in the US.

So far, Microsoft, Twitter and Oracle have made public bids for TikTok. Interestingly, retail giant Walmart has joined the fray, teaming up with Microsoft for its bid. Walmart said in a statement that it believes TikTok’s integration with advertising is a “clear benefit to creators and users in those markets” and offers an opportunity to bring a new spin to e-commerce.

CNBC estimates TikTok’s US, Canadian, Australian and New Zealand business to be valued at up to $30bn.

Read: TikTok to challenge Trump’s executive order in court: reports

TikTok’s parent company ByteDance has been at odds with the Trump administration over privacy concerns. The US government claims the Chinese government could access Americans’ data held by Beijing-based ByteDance. The company has denied the allegations.

An August 6 executive order by Trump gave TikTok 45 days to find a buyer. A week later, Trump amended that period to 90 days in a subsequent executive order that followed a government panel’s recommendation. After that, transactions with either TikTok or ByteDance would be prohibited.

The Trump administration has stepped up its efforts to purge what it deems “untrusted” Chinese apps from U.S. digital networks. Beyond TikTok, Trump has also issued an order that would prohibit transactions with WeChat, owned by Chinese-headquartered Tencent.

Also, on August 17, the US Commerce Department announced fresh sanctions restricting any foreign semiconductor company from selling chips developed or produced using US software or technology to Huawei, without first obtaining a license to do so. The order could deal a fatal blow to Huawei operations which rely on foreign-made semiconductors to manufacture its 5G telecommunications gear.

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