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Walmart joins Microsoft in pursuit of TikTok deal

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Walmart announced Thursday that it is joining Microsoft in a joint effort to secure a deal with TikTok.

Microsoft has been exploring a deal with the short-form video app for some time now, a process that has been accelerated by President Trump signing an executive order that would effectively ban TikTok from operating in the U.S. unless its parent company, Beijing-based ByteDance, divests.

The order from Trump, signed earlier this month, claims that because ByteDance is based out of China, the app poses a national security risk.

“The way TikTok has integrated e-commerce and advertising capabilities in other markets is a clear benefit to creators and users in those markets,” a Walmart spokesperson told CNBC on Thursday.

“We believe a potential relationship with TikTok U.S. 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,” they continued. “We are confident that a Walmart and Microsoft partnership would meet both the expectations of U.S. TikTok users while satisfying the concerns of US government regulators.”

A spokesperson for TikTok declined to comment on “market rumors.” A spokesperson for Microsoft also declined to comment.

Trump’s executive order, signed Aug. 6, would ban transactions with TikTok within 45 days. He signed another order the following week giving ByteDance 90 days to divest, a tight time frame given the logistical issues in spinning off one portion of the app.

Oracle has also reportedly been seeking out a deal with ByteDance. Trump has voiced support for Microsoft’s and Oracle’s efforts.

There may ultimately be a longer period for a deal to be met after TikTok filed a lawsuit against the administration this week.

The case, filed Monday, alleges the administration’s decision to effectively ban the app in the U.S. violated its right to due process. The company also argued that the administration has failed to offer evidence about a security threat it poses. 

TikTok has exploded in popularity in recent years, with roughly 100 million American users and more than 2 billion downloads worldwide.

This story was updated at 1:30pm

Tags ByteDance Donald Trump Microsoft Oracle tiktok Walmart

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