Hours after TikTok CEO Kevin Mayer resigned on Thursday, Aug. 27, Walmart Inc announced in an official statement that it would join Microsoft in a joint bid to acquire the social media company’s U.S. assets.
Mayer, just two months after taking office, resigned on Thursday amid pressure from the United States for the owner company, ByteDance, to sell the popular video application, which according to allegations and evidence presented by the White House means a risk to the national security of the United States.
“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,” Walmart said in the statement.
On Aug. 2, Microsoft wrote in an official statement, “Microsoft will move quickly to pursue discussions with TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, in a matter of weeks, and in any event completing these discussions no later than September 15, 2020. During this process, Microsoft looks forward to continuing dialogue with the United States government, including with the president.”
TikTok’s owner, ByteDance, aims to hold exclusive talks with a bidder within the next 24 to 48 hours and sign an agreement by Sept. 15, when the deadline granted by the executive order signed by President Trump expires, for the Chinese-owned company to cease operations in the United States, according to Reuters.
The ByteDance firm is being forced to sell the TikTok application after complaints by the Trump administration, which accuse it of posing a potential national security risk due to the large amount of private data the application is collecting on U.S. consumers and the suspicion that this information will be shared with the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
The U.S. government has demanded that China’s ByteDance, which owns TikTok globally, sell its U.S. operations to a local firm.
ByteDance founder and CEO Zhang Yiming said in a statement to Reuters that the company is “moving quickly to find resolutions to the issues that we face globally, particularly in the U.S. and India.”
ByteDance, following complaints and bans, is in talks to sell TikTok’s operations in the United States, Australia, and New Zealand. The values of the popular application could be between $25 billion and $30 billion.
The company has also been denounced in India, where TikTok was one of 59 Chinese applications banned by the Indian government in June following a border dispute between India and the CCP.