If Microsoft Buys TikTok, US Treasury Should Get 'Substantial' Cut

Thursday, 06 Aug, 2020

Even more, there's the technical challenge of transferring the assets, which comes with a pile of security and privacy issues. "The company (Microsoft) won't be seen very nicely in the eyes of the Chinese".

Faber's sources say the valuation could range from $10-30B. "TikTok's USA business is facing the possibility of being forced to sell by CFIUS, or TikTok products may be banned in the United States due to administrative orders".

"The buyout plan could be just a ruse under which the U.S. government and capital behind United States tech giants have conspired, that is to oust TikTok from the USA market completely", Richard Ma, an internet industry insider, told the Global Times Tuesday. It has a similar service, Douyin, for users in China. However, a legal challenge is possible under the fifth amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which prohibits the government from seizing property without just compensation, as well as other laws, legal experts said.

In the latest of a series of diplomatic spats between the world's two biggest economies, Beijing hit back after Trump gave TikTok six weeks to arrange a sale of its United States operations - and said that his government wanted a financial benefit from the deal.

Where it stands: TikTok as it's used by most Americans - for memeable short videos of people dancing, joking and lip-syncing to other videos - doesn't immediately scream security risk.

China's foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin, at a regular briefing on Tuesday, said Beijing "firmly opposed" Washington's move, accusing the administration of "abusing its power" and using national security as a pretext for cracking down on non-U.S. companies.

If the video app doesn't break away from its Chinese owner, ByteDance, and sell its U.S. operation to Microsoft, Mr Trump will simply ban it - putting TikTok's access to its 80 million active American users in jeopardy. That is putting downward pressure on the valuation that actually helps Microsoft's chances, said venture capitalists Ben Gilbert and David Rosenthal, hosts of the popular Acquired podcast.

The deal has raised fears among those in the United States tech sector of a further "splintering" of the internet, as the U.S. makes it harder for Chinese technology firms to do business in the USA after decades of blocking America's tech giants with its own policies. Right now they don't have any rights, unless we give it to 'em.

A representative for Microsoft did not reply to questions about the payment demand Tuesday.

There's constant chatter around that topic in the financial press.

If Microsoft buys TikTok, "there will be a backlash", Gold added. "I mean I think they agreed with me very much".

TikTok is believed to have 100 million users in United States of America and Vanessa Pappas, the US general manager for TikTok, said the company has received an "outpouring from support" since Trump proposed the ban.

"So that money would go into the Treasury of the United States". Buying only a portion of the unit would be "complicated", he said. "LinkedIn has a logical adjacency with Microsoft's Office 365 product suite, most notably Outlook".

"Microsoft frankly has never been all that good at running a consumer-focused social network, they've tried it before", Gold said.

And then there's the worry that Microsoft might not be able to defend or grow TikTok's user base or monetization potential.

The papers say China has options for responding against the USA if they steal TikTok in such a way, though they were vague about what those options might be.