The Donald Trump-TiTok saga has taken several dizzying twists and turns in recent days, with the short clip social media service set to be sold off to an American-based buyer and companies like Microsoft weighing the pros and cons of such a monumental purchase.
Earlier today, the UK-based international newspaper Reuters spilled the beans on the complex set of challenges Microsoft is currently facing with any pending purchase from the China-based owner ByteDance, calling the possible move a “technically complex endeavor that could test the patience of President Donald Trump’s administration, according to sources familiar with the setup.”
With the Microsoft purchase in limbo and Trump’s call for TikTok to sell immediately serving as the motivating factor, a surprising new contender has entered the fray: Twitter.
Twitter Looking for “The New Vine” in TikTok?
In early 2017, Twitter shut down a similar app, Vine, based around the novelty and exhileration of short video clips recorded and uploaded by users.
According to an analysis from the Wall Street Journal, Twitter’s interest in TikTok is a “tacit admission” that it shouldn’t have failed Vine.
Twitter revenue rose steadily over the second half of 2019, with some peaks and valleys along the crest, and the company is poised to possibly make a huge splash by acquiring the fastest-growing social network of all-time, TikTok.
While the 14-year-old micro-messaging company favored by political buffs and celebrities is not exactly the front runner, there’s still a chance it could steal the app from Microsoft, if the price is right — especially considering President Trump’s recently imposed September 15 deadline.
The price for TikTok could be as high as $30 billion, however, making it a difficult buy for Twitter, whose own market cap is about $30 billion according to the Wall Street Journal. Twitter boasts around $7.8 billion in cash and short-term investments as of June.
Will TikTok Sale Go Through — Or is it All a Charade?
Despite optimism from Trump and American media that Microsoft, Twitter, or another American social media or tech giant may swoop in and buy the popular Chinese-owned app, there is also concern that the situation is “unlikely” to end in a deal, according to a report from the South China morning post as shared by Business Insider in a Monday article.
“ByteDance isn’t ready to give up its monstrous American audience without a fight,” the report stated.
Considering that TikTok’s popularity has been soaring and the deal is being forced by Trump, it’s easy to see why ByteDance would take that position.
Also according to the article, there’s a chance that ByteDance is planning to sue the president in response to his executive order that banned any transactions between American users and Tiktok.
ByteDance and TikTok are also facing questions about the app’s legality and allegations of First Amendment Rights violations, the Business Insider report said.
In China, ByteDance has faced criticism for giving in too easily to Trump and the United States, the report added, while CEO Zhang Yiming defended the situation as part of an ongoing legal process.