Twitter has had preliminary discussions about a “combination” with TikTok, the Wall Street Journal reported, making the social media platform the newest possible candidate for the popular video-sharing app. As the WSJ notes that it is not clear whether Twitter would pursue a possible acquisition of TikTok, and such a deal would face major obstacles.
The biggest challenge to any deal is the Trump administration’s executive order on Aug. 6, banning TikTok parent company ByteDance from handling transactions in the US. The order will take effect within 45 days. The government views the Chinese app as a potential security threat, despite no evidence that ByteDance or TikTok ever shared data from Americans with the Chinese government. TikTok has said it plans to challenge the Trump administration’s order.
And then there’s Microsoft, the only company to date publicly admitted it was in talks with TikTok owner ByteDance about a possible acquisition. The WSJ says Twitter would be considered a bull’s eye in a bid for TikTok, with Microsoft likely leading the way in every deal. Twitter is much smaller than Microsoft, and the WSJs sources say the social platform is likely to undergo less antitrust investigation than Microsoft. But Twitter also doesn’t have as much money as the software giant for a possible purchase.
Microsoft said in an Aug. 2 blog post that CEO Satya Nadella had spoken with President Trump about a potential acquisition of TikTok, which includes TikTok operations in the US, Australia, Canada and New Zealand. Microsoft said it expected talks to be concluded by September 15.
Any deal with Twitter would involve TikTok’s US operations, the WSJ.
Twitter declined to comment. A TikTok spokesperson said the company is not commenting on market rumors.