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A Final Look Back on Microsoft and TikTok (Premium)

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With the TikTok soap opera finally behind us, I’d like to provide another view on Microsoft’s disastrous attempt to ally with the U.S. government and wrest control of a Chinese-owned company away from its corporate parents.

As I wrote in Damned if You Do (Premium), Microsoft’s oversight of TikTok’s non-Chinese business operations would have been problematic and could very likely have ended in failure. The software giant has no particular expertise with consumer services, and it continuing to run TikTok as an independent firm would have delivered the same lackluster results as does LinkedIn today, albeit at double the acquisition costs.

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