Earlier this month, Microsoft revealed its plans to potentially acquire TikTok’s US operations. Now, in a surprise twist to the plot, Walmart is reportedly joining hands with Microsoft to bid for TikTok.
The news comes a day after TikTok CEO Kevin Mayer quit his position amid rising political tensions between Beijing and Washington. As reported by CNBC, TikTok’s parent ByteDance is gearing up to sell its U.S, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand operations. The deal for TikTok’s US operations may be worth approximately $20 billion to $30 billion. Details regarding the deal are expected in the coming days.
“We believe a potential relationship with TikTok US in partnership with Microsoft could add this key functionality and provide Walmart with an important way for us to reach and serve omnichannel customers as well as grow our third-party marketplace and advertising businesses,” said Walmart in a statement.
“We are confident that a Walmart and Microsoft partnership would meet both the expectations of US TikTok users while satisfying the concerns of US government regulators,” the company added.
As far as Walmart is concerned, it might want to leverage TikTok’s userbase for advertising. The company could use TikTok’s user base, which is mostly young people, to attract them to its own stores for shopping. According to some reports, youngsters in the US don’t shop on Walmart, whether in store or online. As such, TikTok will allow Walmart access to a key market that it currently has no control over.
In a statement, the company said TikTok’s integration of e-commerce and advertising is a “clear benefit to creators and users in those markets”. The exact details of the Walmart-Microsoft partnership such as the share in ownership remain unknown for now.
With this move, Walmart becomes yet another company to express interest in acquiring TikTok. Other companies including Oracle are also in negotiations to take over TikTok, at least in the U.S. Meanwhile, Reliance Industries is interested in TikTok’s India operations.