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Walmart Joins Microsoft in Bid for TikTok U.S.

Walmart is joining Microsoft in a bid for the Chinese video application TikTok.
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Walmart is joining Microsoft in a bid for the Chinese video application TikTok.

The Bentonville, Ark., retailing giant said in a statement that it was interested in buying Tiktok.

“The way Tik Tok has integrated e-commerce and advertising capabilities in other markets is a clear benefit to creators and users in those markets,” Walmart said.

“We believe a potential relationship with Tik Tok US in partnership with Microsoft could add this key functionality and provide Walmart with an important way for us to reach and serve omnichannel customers as well as grow our third-party marketplace and advertising businesses."

And Walmart said that joining Microsoft, the Redmond, Wash., software icon, on a deal would ease the concerns of regulators about TikTok. 

Microsoft early this month had said it was talking with Tiktok's parent, Bytedance, about acquiring the video app. 

Database-software giant Oracle  (ORCL) - Get Free Report and short-messaging social-media provider Twitter  (TWTR) - Get Free Report have also been mentioned as potential suitors for TikTok.

On Thursday TheWrap had reported that Oracle had submitted a $20 billion bid for TikTok. A spokeswoman for Oracle declined comment to TheStreet.

TikTok has been a lightning rod for controversy in 2020 regarding the company's ties to the Chinese government. 

Earlier this month, the U.S. Senate unanimously approved a bill to ban TikTok from use on government-issued devices. President Donald Trump signed the No TikTok on Government Devices Act the same day. 

In December, the U.S. Navy banned TikTok from military-issued smartphones a week after the Pentagon sent out a "Cyber Awareness Message." In January this year the U.S. Army and Air Force followed suit. 

In June, India banned TikTok, along with scores of other Chinese apps.

And in July, Amazon  (AMZN) - Get Free Report told employees in an email to delete TikTok from their phones "due to security risks." The company walked back the policy later in the day, telling Business Insider that the email was "sent in error."

The Walmart move comes on the same day TikTok Chief Executive Kevin Mayer resigned, just three months after taking the job.

Jim Cramer discusses TikTok CEO Kevin Mayer's resignation.

In a memo sent to staff on Wednesday, Mayer, an ex-Disney  (DIS) - Get Free Report executive, said that the "political environment has sharply changed" as the company's ties to the Chinese central government has come under scrutiny around the world.

Vanessa Pappas, head of TikTok's U.S. operations, will run the company following Mayer's departure.

At last check Walmart shares were 5.1% higher at $137.42 while Microsoft was up 1.9% at $225.29. Oracle shares slipped 1% to $56.92.