Twitter Has Held Preliminary Talks with TikTok

Posted on August 9, 2020 by Paul Thurrott in Social with 6 Comments

A more suitable suitor for beleaguered social network TikTok has emerged: According to reports, Twitter has now spoken to the firm about a sale.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Twitter and TikTok have had preliminary discussions about a possible combination of the two services that would appease the U.S. government. The report cites multiple sources.

Unfortunately, Microsoft is still considered the front-runner to acquire some or all of TikTok’s non-China assets in a move that can only be viewed as a hostile takeover. Twitter’s bid, meanwhile, is more of a long-shot.

That said, Twitter would be the more natural fit, and Twitter’s chat-based service and TikTok’s short-form videos are complementary. Plus, unlike Microsoft, Twitter already has years of experience managing a social networking service and well understands the pitfalls.

Twitter is also much smaller than Microsoft and would thus face less scrutiny from regulators. Twitter is worth just $29 billion, compared to Microsoft’s $1.6 trillion, the publication notes. And unlike Microsoft, it would need outside help to float an acquisition as Twitter has only $7.8 billion in cash (compared to $136 billion for Microsoft). TikTok could be worth north of $30 billion.

According to the White House, TikTok has until September 15 to find a buyer for at least its U.S.-based operations. If that doesn’t happen, the government will attempt to ban TikTok in the U.S., a move that will surely trigger legal action.

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Comments (6)

6 responses to “Twitter Has Held Preliminary Talks with TikTok”

  1. Paul Thurrott

    We had a self-inflicted site glitch this afternoon that deleted all four of my posts today, including any comments you may have made. I've republished the posts, but there's no way to get the comments back, sorry. --Paul

  2. bart

    If I were MS and after data... Make a three way deal with TikTok and Twitter. Provide funding for the deal, Twitter runs TikTok and MS gets to provide cloud infrastructure and get access to the logarithms.

    Hang on, time to call Satya ?

  3. BrianEricFord

    I think Twitter’s biggest hurdle is the White House. I doubt Trump will keep quiet about it.

  4. mattbg

    Let's hope Microsoft doesn't try to buy Twitter AND TikTok :)

  5. vhaakmat

    I didn't know Twitter had that much money to compete with Microsoft for the Business. Microsoft should let them take it and then buy them :)

  6. nine54

    Twitter already bought a short-form video service, i.e., did that turn out? While TikTok is natural product fit and a way to tap into a younger audience, questions remain around Twitter's ability to integrate and capitalize on such a large acquisition, especially one requiring significant leverage.