Satya Nadela, CEO of Microsoft in New York on October 2, 201. Speaking at a Microsoft press conference.
Don Emmert | AFP | Getty Images
CEO Satya Nadela said on Monday that Microsoft’s failed attempt to take over the US operation in TicTac last year was “the strangest thing I’ve ever done”.
In August last year, Tiktok was in talks to sell its U.S. activities because the Trump administration threatened to ban the app unless the parent company found a U.S. buyer for Bydance.
At one point, Microsoft was one of the potential acquirers, but it fell behind in September 2020, when Oracle was chosen to provide cloud servers for the app.
“First of all, you have to remember, the tick came to us, we didn’t go to the ticket,” Nadela said at a code conference in Beverly Hills, California. “They were caught up in a lot of problems across the two capitals and they wanted to be partners.”
Tiktok initially wanted a cloud provider that could also provide security services, Nadela said.
“But I was quite interested,” he said. “And let’s say it’s a great asset, obviously.”
TickTock’s US operation was never sold. In June, President Joe Biden signed an executive order revoking the Trump administration’s order banning the app.
Nadela said the US government would eventually lose interest in moving the transaction forward.
“President Trump, I think he had a special view of what he was trying to do there,” Nadela said. “Then I moved on. It was interesting. There was a time when I felt that the USG had certain requirements, and then they disappeared.”
Nadela said Microsoft was in a good position to buy or partner with Tiktok, which reported earlier this week that it has one billion monthly users worldwide.
He said Microsoft’s cloud platform, security technology and “engineers would be able to take a code base.”
In addition, the ability to moderate Microsoft content and keep children safe on social media was also an attraction for the parent company of TickTock.
“You know something very well about running social media, which we know through Xbox Live or LinkedIn,” Nadela said.
Nadela still declined to say whether she would like to buy the app, indicating that she is “happy with what I have”. But he acknowledged that the deal was applied to Microsoft because of TicTac’s technical design.
“It’s an interesting product,” Nadela said.
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