Twitter Shares Jump Amid Reports Of Potential Takeover Challenge To Microsoft For TikTok

Multiple media reports suggest Twitter has emerged as a potential suitor for TikTok following President Donald Trump's move to have the U.S. operations of its video-sharing business sold to an American company.
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Twitter Inc.  (TWTR) - Get Report shares jumped higher Monday amid reports that the micro-blogging website is interested in a potential purchase of the U.S. operations of China-based video-sharing app TikTok.

Multiple media reports, first from the Wall Street Journal, said Twitter, which has a market value of around $30 billion, has approached ByteDance, TikTok's China-based owner and expressed interest in purchasing its U.S. business, which President Donald Trump has said must be sold by the middle of September.

Microsoft Corp  (MSFT) - Get Report, with a market value of $1.6 trillion, said last week that it's interested in buying TikTok's domestic operations, which some analysts have valued as high as $50 billion. 

Twitter shares were marked 2.5% higher in pre-market trading Monday, indicating an opening bell price of $38.07 each, a move that would extend the stock's year-to-date gain to around 20%. Microsoft shares, meanwhile, were last seen 1.4% lower at $209.56 each.

Last week, President Trump issued a pair of Executive Orders that barred "U.S. transactions" with China-based social media apps WeChat and TikTok, citing "significant risks" to personal data and digital security.

The decision, which will be challenged by WeChat owners Tencent Holdings and ByteDance, will come into effect in mid-September, around the same time Microsoft is expected to either complete its purchase of TikTok  or walk away from a transaction that was essentially forced by the White House.

China also vowed to hit back at President Trump's Executive Order, calling it a case of "using state power to oppress non-American businesses."

That threat might actually work in favor of Twitter, analysts have noted, given that it has no presence in China and thus would be largely immune to sanctions from Beijing.

Microsoft, however, generates around $2 billion in revenues from China every year and employees around 6,000 people in Shanghai, Beijing and Suzhou.