Although it is difficult to recall, in August 2020, Microsoft offered to acquire TikTok's portion in a complex deal. This was as Trump threatened to retaliate against the platform. The whole thing was dissipated when TikTok rejected Microsoft just one day after Oracle offered a completely different deal.
Satya Nadella, Microsoft CEO, said today that the entire ordeal was one of the most bizarre things she's ever worked on.
Nadella stated that he was intrigued by the Microsoft deal. He then tried to follow the joke with a laugh and deadpanning. The rest, I think, is history.
Kara Swisher asked Nadella to tell the story, and Nadella, still a little confused by the strangeness of it all, went through a few key steps. He says that TikTok came here to them, but we didn't come to TikTok. The company was seeking a US partner for these security issues we have been hearing about.
Nadella believed TikTok was a good fit for his company because it was social and cloud-based. It also heavily leveraged AI which is a key area of the company's focus. He says it is an interesting product.
At this point, I am content with what I have.
Nadella claims that Microsoft would have made a good partner for TikTok due to its investments in social media and in child safety.
Nadella states that there was a time when I thought the US government had a specific set of requirements. But it disappeared. Trump, I believe, had a certain point of view about what he wanted to accomplish...but then it just disappeared.
Microsoft was informed by TikTok that it would not be proceeding with the September deal. TikTok suggested that the administration had completely forgotten about the ban, just days before Trump gave ByteDance parent company ByteDance a deadline to sell its US assets. The order was rescinded by President Biden in the end.
It's all irrelevant at this point, Nadella claims. He claims he hasn't been following up on Oracle and TikTok. It has been put on hold indefinitely. If TikTok came back on the market, would he be willing to purchase TikTok? Nadella said that I am happy with what I have.