In 2020, Microsoft was in talks to buy TikTok, the popular short video social platform. However, that agreement never materialized and today, more than a year later, Satya Nadella reveals that those negotiations were some of the strangest she has ever seen.
It all starts with the fact that TikTok sought a US buyer to avoid getting into trouble with the Donald Trump administration, which intended to veto apps from China over security concerns.
In the middle of the event Code Conference, Microsoft’s CEO revealed that it was TikTok that turned to Microsoft, not the other way around. And at the time, Microsoft did not think it a bad idea to take over all or at least part of the social network, because according to Nadella “it is an interesting product” that revolves around areas that are of interest to the company, such as the cloud or artificial intelligence.
However, the efforts of ByteDance – the company behind TikTok – had to do with a kind of desperation to avoid sanctions and prohibitions by the United States. Satya Nadella revealed that for a certain period the Trump administration imposed some very particular requirements, which were later forgotten.
“President Trump had a very particular point of view about what he wanted to achieve, but from one moment to the next that changed,” says Satya Nadella. And perhaps this has to do with Trump’s original idea of banning TikTok, which was put to the stop after evaluating the consequences that facing the younger electorate could have for the Republican party.
But ultimately, the agreement between Microsoft and TikTok did not materialize; the social network decided to back down and tried to partner with Oracle, but that too was up in the air. And with the change of government and the rise of Joe Biden to power, the threats against TikTok disappeared.