A Bloomberg report on Saturday, citing unnamed sources said that Microsoft Corp. is exploring an acquisition of TikTok's operations in the US, which is hoped to not only help the software giant acquire a popular social media app but help relieve the pressure on the American government about its Chinese ownership.
The Trump administration is reportedly considering directing China-based ByteDance Ltd. to divest its stake in TikTok's US operations as the country continues to investigate national security risks due to the Chinese company's control of the app.
The decision on the matter now awaits further review by US President Donald Trump, the Bloomberg report said.
"We are looking at TikTok. We may be banning TikTok," Trump told reporters on Friday at the White House but no certain decision has been announced. "We are looking at a lot of alternatives with respect to TikTok," he added.
Transactions could face regulatory hurdles.
ByteDance bought Musical.ly Inc. in 2017 and merged it with TikTok, which became a social-media hit in the US, first Chinese app to gain such popularity. As TikTok popularity grew, the US government raised concerns about the potential for the Chinese government to use the app to gain data on US citizens.
It's also possible that other potential buyers could come forward, the report further said.