Report: Microsoft may still consider a run at TikTok if the Oracle deal fails

TikTok logo
TikTok logo (Image credit: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • TikTok is a hip and happenin' social network that is positively rad with gen-Z kids.
  • The US government is, however, unhappy that TikTok's data is stored in China.
  • To that end, the previous administration forced TikTok to do a deal with a US-based cloud provider, Oracle.
  • The new Biden administration, however, may cancel that deal in favor of another company.
  • Fox Business sources reckon Microsoft may still have a chance to land the deal instead.

Well, this is one story that doesn't seem to want to die. According to sources speaking to Fox Business, Microsoft may be gearing up to have another crack at TikTok, which is still pursuing a hosting deal with US-based cloud provider Oracle.

In case you missed last summer's drama, the former US presidential administration forced TikTok's US operations to enter into a cloud provision deal with a US-based provider. This was over general privacy and national security concerns, given that TikTok's parent company ByteDance is based in China.

Initially, Microsoft was supposedly the frontrunner in the deal with the global phenomenon known as TikTok, where people share short creative videos full of memes, dancing, and other hip and cool trends I'm too old to understand. Regardless, Microsoft wanted a slice of this extremely lucrative pie, given that TikTok is already one of the largest social networks on Earth, with truly wild profitability, owing to in-line ads and a very clever content delivery algorithm. Unfortunately for Redmond, Microsoft's bid failed to materialize, with competing cloud provider Oracle sweeping into the front-runner status. However, that may be about to change.

Tiktok Surface Duo 2020 Lede

Source: Windows Central TikTok on a Surface Duo, showcased by our super cool Exec Editor Daniel Rubino, who is a well-known TikTok fan. (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

According to sources speaking to Fox Business, the deal with Oracle is in danger of falling through. The new Biden administration in the US is supposedly unhappy with the deal, given that Oracle's CTO, Larry Ellison, is reportedly a personal friend of Donald Trump. According to said reports, the Biden administration is also skeptical of the deal due to the "heavy-handed" nature of how it was handled last year. Banking sources speaking to Fox Business seem confident that Microsoft may attempt to re-enter the deal, if Oracle is deemed unsuitable for approval.

Microsoft isn't exactly a tour de force in the social media space. The firm owns LinkedIn, which is a leader in employment and business-oriented social networking. And Xbox Live boasts tens of millions of users, complete with messaging and mild sharing capabilities. However, Microsoft's mishandling of Skype and other consumer-oriented products has seen its social authority wane immensely over the last few years. Microsoft wouldn't necessarily be in control of TikTok as a service as a result of this deal, but it may gain some valuable insights as a result of hosting the network in the US.

Either way, this is another bizarre twist in the TikTok tale which is unlikely to end any time soon. Now if you'll pardon me, I'm off to practice some cool TikTok dances.

Jez Corden
Co-Managing Editor

Jez Corden is a Managing Editor at Windows Central, focusing primarily on all things Xbox and gaming. Jez is known for breaking exclusive news and analysis as relates to the Microsoft ecosystem while being powered by tea. Follow on Twitter @JezCorden and listen to his XB2 Podcast, all about, you guessed it, Xbox!