Walmart announced, Thursday, that it may join Microsoft to buy US businesses TikTok, the popular Chinese-owned video app that has been criticized by President Donald Trump’s administration.
Tik Tok has gained, through its short videos, hundreds of millions of users worldwide. But the United States is forcing its Chinese owner to sell the American business, if the company wants to continue operating in the country.
Walmart, owner of huge retail stores across the United States and the West, said in a statement that concluding a deal with Microsoft and TikTok could help it expand its advertising business and reach more shoppers.
Microsoft and Walmart are already business partners, as Microsoft provides cloud computing services that help operate retail stores and shop online.
The two companies signed a 5-year partnership in 2018, enabling them to join forces against their common competitor, Amazon.
The Trump administration is pressing to sell Tik Tok operations in the United States over its Chinese ownership and has threatened to block the app, which TikTok says has 100 million US users, citing national security concerns.
On the other hand, TikTok, owned by the Chinese technology company, ByteDance, has filed a lawsuit to stop the ban.
Microsoft confirmed discussions with TikTok, and other technology companies, such as Oracle, are also reported to be interested in the potential acquisition.
TikTok says it is prepared to continue selling its operations in the United States, and has threatened legal action if it is not treated fairly.
The US authorities are concerned that TikTok is handing over user data to the Chinese authorities and that it censors content that may disturb China.
TikTok denies that it has shared user data with the Chinese government and will not do so if requested to do so. The videos were not subject to censorship at the request of the Chinese authorities, and says that they do not represent a threat to national security.