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The story of how Microsoft could own TikTok

TikTok it could end up in the hands of the giant Microsoft. This fact that seems almost unthinkable was on the verge of being a reality last year. Next, we explain the story of how Microsoft could own TikTok and what happened so that it didn’t happen.

In 2020, the American administration led by Donald Trump threatened to ban TikTok in the United States. Trump’s threat also involved forcing ByteDance, owner of TikTok of Chinese origin to sell the app to a US company, alleging security and privacy reasons.

To save it, ByteDance began negotiating its acquisition with various technology companies. ByteDance wanted to find a partner to help solve this problem that ultimately involved the relationship between China and the United States. One of these companies was Microsfot who would acquire it in the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

But the negotiations were really strange and marked by the American president. In the middle of ByteDance’s negotiations with Microsoft Trump released a statement in which he told the press to ban the application than to allow it to be sold to a US company. Something totally incoherent after having said that he did want the acquisition of the platform by an American buyer. This fact spoiled the private and careful negotiations that Microsoft had carried out with ByteDance to buy TikTok in the US and the other three countries.

Trump in the end relented, but the potential buyer’s offer was not Microsoft’s but Oracle and Walmtart’s. A sale agreement that was downloaded “indefinitely” by the new American president Joe Biden, in February of this year 2021.

This decision by Biden was due to the North American administration asking to delay the request to the court where ByteDance appealed in November 2020 the obligation to sell part of TikTok. The company then argued that their fundamental rights were being violated.

The Department of Justice of the American Government asked the court for time because they were going to begin an investigation and review that the Trump Government did in its day. This review goes through evaluating the security threats that the administration justified to force the TikTok ban.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella explained that this failed purchase episode was for him. «The strangest thing I’ve ever worked on in my life”. He further explained that “TikTok got caught between many things that happen in two capitals. President Trump had a particular point of view of what he was trying to do there, and then he just disappeared”.


We cannot forget that TikTok has a prominent presence in American society. 18.68% of Americans use the platform every day. This figure represents about 50 million active users. Among these users, those of the so-called generation Z stand out, young people between 1996 and 2012, where up to 49% of them have used TikTok at some time. LThe monthly statistics claim, as US TikTok users have increased by 800% in 20 months. Every month 37.36% of the 267.6 million users with US mobile Internet connect to Tiktok.

Regarding the time of use of the platform, Americans 18 and older spent 1.43 billion hours on TikTok per month in 2020, something that has been increasing in 2021.

TikTok has been downloaded 2 billion times already. Remember that was the number one downloaded app worldwide in 2020. Around 75.5% of their downloads came from Google Play while 24.5% came from the App Store.