Microsoft says its bid to buy popular video-sharing app TikTok has been rejected, removing a leading suitor for the Chinese-owned app a week before President Donald Trump promises to follow through with a plan to ban it in the United States.
Microsoft said in a Sunday statement that TikTok’s parent company, Bytedance, “let us know today they would not be selling TikTok’s US operations to Microsoft”.
The Trump administration has threatened to ban TikTok by mid-September and ordered ByteDance to sell its US business, claiming national-security risks due to its Chinese ownership.
The government worries about user data being funnelled to Chinese authorities. TikTok denies it is a national-security risk and is suing to stop the administration from the threatened ban.
Walmart had planned to partner with Microsoft on the deal. It’s not clear if Walmart is still interested. Oracle, another reported bidder, has declined to comment.
TikTok did not immediately return requests for comment Sunday.
Microsoft said it was “confident our proposal would have been good for TikTok’s users, while protecting national security interests”.