Home Tech TikTok ban latest: US supermarket giant enters battle for Chinese app takeover

TikTok ban latest: US supermarket giant enters battle for Chinese app takeover

The social media platform, owned by Chinese firm ByteDance, has been under threat in the US ever since President Donald Trump announced it would face a national ban unless a US-based firm purchased it. The president issued a time frame of just three months for a purchase to be made.

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As such, companies have scrambled to enter discussions with ByteDance ahead of the November 12th deadline.

In the corporate world, transactions and mergers between companies can typically take several years under normal circumstances.

Stocks in Walmart hit a 52-week high of $ 139.35 on the news, bringing the firm’s market cap to around $ 387 billion, CNBC reports.

In a statement, Walmart said: “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.

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A number of US firms are now vying for TikTok (Image: Sheldon Cooper / SOPA Images / LightRocket / Getty)

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

“The way TikTok has integrated e-commerce and advertising capabilities in other markets is a clear benefit to creators and users in those markets.”

Any deal with ByteDance will see the winning firm acquire the operations of TikTok in the US, Canada, New Zealand and Australia.

READ: TikTok bombshell: Donald Trump to be sued by controversial Chinese video app

Walmart is a US supermarket giant (Image: Kena Betancur / VIEWpress / Getty)

Analysts say the purchase of TikTok by Walmart would allow the retailer to expand the number of people it reaches with adverts.

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TikTok has said it has almost 100 million active users every month in the US alone.
The announcement is yet another development in the fast-moving battle for the video app.

Only this week, TikTok’s CEO Kevin Mayer stepped down from his role after just three months at the helm.

He said “the political environment has sharply changed” in a letter to employees.

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Donald Trump has said a buyer for TikTok must be found by mid-November (Image: Win McNamee / Getty)

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US China trade war graph (Image: EXPRESS)

Meanwhile, international software firm Oracle has entered discussions to purchase TikTok in competition to Microsoft and Walmart.

The details of the offers being put forward for TikTok are not known – though analysts think the app could be worth anywhere between $ 20 billion and $ 50 billion.

Microsoft – now couple with Walmart – has been considered the most likely buyer. Its market cap stands at $ 1.7 trillion.

Microsoft is one of the main contenders for a TikTok deal (Image: Rafael Henrique / SOPA Images / LightRocket / Getty)

However, the Guardian reports Oracle may have one advantage in that its co-founder Larry Ellison is a public Donald Trump supporter.

Oracle is perhaps best known as the owner of the Java programming language, but the company is less consumer-facing than Microsoft is.

Oracle’s market cap is valued at $ 175.5 billion. The firm’s share prices appear to have risen on the news it is in talks with ByteDance.

Oracle’s headquarters in California – the company is also reportedly in talks to purchase TikTok (Image: Justin Sullivan / Getty)

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