Walmart announced on Thursday that it is seeking to join Microsoft to buy the social media music video app TikTok, which President Donald Trump has said will be shut down unless it is purchased by a U.S.-run company.
Microsoft was already seeking to purchase the Chinese-based app before Trump began to make comments and tweets about possible security problems with the way the company collects user data and threatened to shut it down.
On August 3, Trump gave TikTok a 45-day deadline to sell its assets to a U.S.-owned company so that China would no longer have access to U.S. data from the app.
It is possible that interested companies could get more than the 45 days, however, since TikTok has now sued Trump over the original executive order.
Walmart interested in TikTok e-commerce and advertising
“The way TikTok has integrated e-commerce and advertising capabilities in other markets is a clear benefit to creators and users in those markets,” a Walmart spokesperson said to CNBC on Thursday.
“We believe a potential relationship with TikTok U.S. in partnership with Microsoft could add this key functionality and provide Walmart with an important way for us to reach and serve omnichannel customers as well as grow our third-party marketplace and advertising businesses,” the spokesperson further said, adding that they believed the partnership could satisfy Trump’s requirements for China-based parent company Byte-Dance to divest itself from the app.
TikTok hasn’t yet chosen a buyer but expects to sell by as soon as next week for between $20 and $30 billion. Oracle is also interested and negotiating to buy the app as well, CNBC noted.
CEO resigns ahead of sale
TikTok CEO Kevin Mayer announced his resignation from running the app on Thursday in advance of the sale after information about him stepping down was leaked to the press. Mayer has only been in charge of TikTok’s operations for a few months after previously running Disney’s streaming video operations.
U.S. TikTok head Vanessa Pappas will step in as CEO after Mayer’s departure.
Byte-Dance is looking to sell its operations in Canada, New Zealand and Australia in addition to the U.S. operations.
The music-based app has more than 2 billion downloads worldwide and more than 100 million users in the U.S., The Hill reported.
Even though no deal is in place, Walmart stocks rose 3% on the announcement, CNBC reported.