ByteDance let us know today they would not be selling TikTok’s US operations to Microsoft. We are confident our proposal would have been good for TikTok’s users, while protecting national security interests. To do this, we would have made significant changes to ensure the service met the highest standards for security, privacy, online safety, and combatting disinformation, and we made these principles clear in our August statement. We look forward to seeing how the service evolves in these important areas.
Earlier this week, rumors surfaced that ByteDance was not willing to sell the algorithm behind the video sharing as part of the bid American based companies were negotiating.
As Microsoft makes clear in its press release, the company had plans to make some significant changes to the platform to comply with national security concerns and it can be presumed that some of those changes involved tweaking TikTok’s algorithm.
For anyone concerned about Microsoft being the future arbiter of TikTok’s success in light the company’s historical consumer-facing blunders need no longer worry. As quickly as the hype for a Microsoft and TikTok acquisition began it has just as quickly ended and with about a week to spare before the arbitrarily suggested Trump administration ban of the app in the US.
Like everyone else, Microsoft will have to wait and see who will come in the ninth hour to help save TikTok’s future in the US.