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Competing with Microsoft, Twitter Joins the Bidding Game to Buy TikTok
COVID-19 and China
Who favors ByteDance more, tech giant or social media? Image credit: EqualOcean

Last weekend was not easy for Microsoft. After the tech giant announced its negotiation with ByteDance for a potential purchase of TikTok at the beginning of August, the US social media Twitter joined the game.

Many US media outlets reported that Twitter is negotiating with TikTok about the US business’s potential acquisition of the China-founded app. However, Microsoft is still a few steps further ahead – and its deal also covers TikTok’s business in Canada, Australia and New Zealand, as well as the US.

Compared to Microsoft’s USD 1.6 trillion, Twitter’s market value is much smaller, at USD 29 billion. Considering the disclosed USD 30 billion ceiling value for TikTok, stated by Microsoft, Twitter can only think of external financing to complete the deal.

However, it is also not a simple game for Microsoft. The US anti-trust regulation, typical post-acquisition business integration and legal issues can also become potential bombs for the tech giant. “Who knows what’s going to happen with that deal,” as Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates indicated in an interview, “But yes, it’s a poison[ed] chalice.”

Indeed, ByteDance needs to think about more than finding a rich US acquirer – deal-related impacts on overseas market and users, for one. The 45-day deadline mentioned in the Executive Order under the US president Trump has been giving pressure to the young Chinese company. From the perspective of business synergies, cooperation with an established social media entity does not seem a less sound option.

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