Satya Nadella, Microsoft’s chief executive, called the proposed deal a “strange thing” under pressure from Trump’s White House. In August 2020, when US President Donald Trump threatened to ban tickets, Bitdance, the owner of the Chinese video app, approached Microsoft as a potential partner.
The plan was to sell the US portion of the business in a threat to US national security. Tiktok eventually chose rival Oracle, but that deal never materialized.
In an interview with tech journalist Cara Switzer at the code conference, Nadella admitted that she had “a kind of interest” when Tiktak approached her.
“TikTok is an interesting product” and a good fit for Microsoft because it’s a social, cloud-based service that uses AI, “he said.
The background to the possible partnership was that then-President Trump gave the Chinese-owned app a September 15, 2020 deadline to sell or close its U.S. business.
A day before that deadline, Microsoft revealed that its offer to buy the company had been rejected.
In the end, Tiktok struck a deal with Oracle and Walmart. But the agreement did not materialize as soon as Trump resigned.
Nadella released some more details about the time, in which President Trump “had a particular view of what he was trying to get there, and then left.”
The administration’s requirements “disappeared right now,” he added