TikTok reportedly selects U.S. buyer, but deal could hit a snag

Tiktok Microsoft Logo Hero
Tiktok Microsoft Logo Hero (Image credit: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • TikTok has reportedly chosen a buyer for its U.S, Australian, and New Zealand businesses.
  • With Microsoft in the running, a deal could be announced "as soon as Tuesday."
  • TikTok owner ByteDance still requires a license from the Chinese government to sell to a U.S. company.

The saga around Microsoft's bid to purchase TikTok could come to an end soon, according to a new report. CNBC reports that TikTok has selected a buyer for its U.S., Australian, and New Zealand businesses. An announcement for the deal could come "as soon as Tuesday," the report notes.

Microsoft, Walmart, and Oracle are all in the mix as potential owners. Microsoft acknowledged it was seeking to purchase TikTok earlier this month, while Walmart said last week that it was partnering with Microsoft on a bid. Should the Microsoft-Walmart partnership succeed, it would make Walmart a minority owner with a deal worth between $20 billion and $30 billion, CNBC notes.

The sale could hit a snag, however. Last week, the Chinese government put TikTok's AI tech on a technology export list. The result is TikTok owner ByteDance would need a license from the Chinese government to sell TikTok to any U.S. business.

Reporting emerged last week that a TikTok sale was imminent. The deal is on a strict timeline after an executive order from the Trump administration dictated that TikTok must either be sold or it will be banned. TikTok has since sued the U.S. government, stating that the executive order was rushed out without giving TikTok a chance to defend itself against claims that it is a security threat.

Last week, TikTok CEO Kevin Mayer stepped down from his role, citing the changing political environment as a reason for his departure. TikTok's general manager in North America, Vanessa Pappas, took over his role as the company's global chief.

Dan Thorp-Lancaster

Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the former Editor-in-Chief of Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central, Android Central, and iMore as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl