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Walmart is joining Microsoft’s bid to acquire TikTok.
The big-box retailer confirmed on Thursday morning that it would add its muscle to the potential deal, one of several options that TikTok owner ByteDance is exploring following President Donald Trump’s move to ban the app in the U.S.
In a statement, Walmart highlighted that TikTok “has integrated e-commerce and advertising capabilities in other markets.”
Microsoft has been in conversations with ByteDance about acquiring TikTok’s U.S. business since early August. Trump, citing security concerns, increased the pressure on China-based ByteDance to find an American buyer for TikTok when he signed an Aug. 6 executive order that would effectively ban the app if it didn’t sell within 90 days. He has since amended that deadline to give ByteDance additional time to make a sale.
Walmart and Microsoft have worked together on numerous occasions over the years. The company currently is a cloud computing client of Microsoft’s.
“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 business,” Walmart said in its statement. “We are confident that a Walmart and Microsoft partnership would meet both the expectations of U.S. TikTok users while satisfying the concern of U.S. government regulators.”
Microsoft did not respond to a request for comment.
Walmart is joining the the race for TikTok just as the company’s newly minted CEO, Kevin Mayer, is leaving. The former Disney executive told staff on Wednesday that he is resigning from his post because “I understand that the role that I signed up for — including running TikTok globally — will look very different as a result of the U.S. administration’s action to push for a sell-off of the U.S. business.”
In his own letter to staff, ByteDance CEO Zhang Yiming said he is “moving quickly” to come to resolution regarding TikTok’s business in the U.S. and India, where the app has already been banned. “I cannot get into details at this point, but I can assure you that we are developing solutions that will be in the interest of users, creators, partners, and employees,” he wrote, indicating that deal could be imminent. TikTok has also sued Trump over his executive order, arguing that he is abusing his emergency powers.
CNBC first reported on Walmart joining the talks for TikTok.
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