While the deadline of September 15th was quickly approaching and all eyes have been on the future of TikTok, Microsoft has announced this evening that they will not be buying the company or any part of the company.
Microsoft released the following statement regarding the acquisition:
ByteDance let us know today they would not be selling TikTok’s US operations to Microsoft. We are confident our proposal would have been good for TikTok’s users, while protecting national security interests. To do this, we would have made significant changes to ensure the service met the highest standards for security, privacy, online safety, and combatting disinformation, and we made these principles clear in our August statement. We look forward to seeing how the service evolves in these important areas.
While the acquisition by Microsoft was always a questionable venture for the firm, the underlying reason was likely related to moving the service to Azure and likely having access to the data generated by the millions of videos on the platform.
But owning TikTok would also open up the company to scrutiny that it has previously avoided; censorship by social media companies. Even though Microsoft does own LinkedIn, that platform is typically not used for political purposes. TikTok, on the other hand, would have put the company into the crosshairs of that conversation.
None of this matters, at least for now, as Microsoft will not be buying the company or any part of it.