Walmart Angles For TikTok Stake
As the clock ticks down on TikTok‘s Chinese owner’s search for a buyer of the company’s U.S. assets, new details are emerging that show just how serious retail behemoth Walmart is about owning a significant stake in the social media service.
Walmart and Microsoft have teamed up to buy the U.S. operations of TikTok. In August, President Donald Trump signed an executive order demanding that the video-sharing app’s owner, ByteDance, sell its U.S. assets to an American company due to what the Trump administration maintains are security concerns.
CNBC reported that prior to joining Microsoft, Walmart was part of a consortium including SoftBank and Google parent Alphabet.
According to the report, Walmart wanted to lead any group buying TikTok’s U.S. assets, but federal authorities insisted that a technology company take the lead.
In a public statement on Thursday (Aug. 27), Walmart confirmed its role in the Microsoft-led bid.
“We believe a potential relationship with TikTok U.S. in partnership with Microsoft could add this key functionality and provide Walmart with an important way for us to reach and serve omnichannel customers as well as grow our third-party marketplace and advertising businesses,” the statement reads. “We are confident that a Walmart and Microsoft partnership would meet both the expectations of U.S. TikTok users while satisfying the concerns of U.S. government regulators.”
Oracle has reportedly also expressed interest in buying TikTok, which various sources value at somewhere in the ballpark of $30 billion.
On Aug. 24, TikTok and ByteDance filed suit in the U.S. federal court for the Central District of California seeking to block the federal government from compelling the sale.
And on Wednesday (Aug. 26), CEO Kevin Mayer said he is resigning. “I understand that the role that I signed up for, including running TikTok globally, will look very different as a result of the U.S. administration’s action to push for a selloff of the U.S. business,” the former Disney executive wrote in a letter obtained by the WSJ. “I’ve always been globally focused in my work, and leading a global team that includes TikTok U.S. was a big draw for me.”