CNBC’s media buzz that Walmart is tying up with Microsoft for buying TikTok on Thursday gained further momentum when its interim head Vanessa Pappas told the press that the social media upstart and the retail giant shared a common interest.
Pappas was quoted as saying in an interview at CNBC squawk box on Friday, “For us, we have been really focused recently on rolling out some e-commerce features. We’ve been providing that for our creator community as another way for them to earn a livelihood “. She further added, ” I think there is a lot of different synergies here”.
TikTok, the Beijing based internet technology company founded in 2012 owned by Bytedance, started testing social commerce features last year by allowing users to add links to their videos and profiles. Levis was the first MNC giant to use its feature “Shop Now ” as a link to its merchandise. This lead to a significant increase in traffic as per reports of early tests in April as reported by TechCrunch.
The company reached an estimated valuation of $100 billion this year, TikTok’s parent company ByteDance solidified its status as the most valuable startup in private markets. Its success outside China has also become a source of envy and inspiration among its local peers. But for now, the company is under tremendous pressure to sell off before Sept 20, the date of the executive order banning US entities for transactions with it becomes operational.
The Trump administration has raised issues of national security as American data can be subject to manipulation by the Chinese Communist regime. TikTok has vehemently denied such claims as it is not available in China, and data is not stored in that country.
Microsoft was amongst the first ones to show interest in its purchase and Oracle too jumped in. Walmart meanwhile has teamed up with Microsoft after its attempt to become a majority stakeholder with Google’s parent company Alphabet fell apart.
Meanwhile, Pappas has reiterated that she is not directly involved in deal talks but saw strengths in both Microsoft and Oracle as technology providers.”I think if you look at the various players and the partners that we’re hearing from, I think they’re amazing tech companies,” she said. “Oracle has its strengths in terms of being a leading data infrastructure company and focused on security, Microsoft as well, great security and privacy platform as well as everything they’re doing with the cloud,” she further added.
Pappas was made interim head at TikTok after former CEO Kevin Mayer announced his resignation this week.
Mayer was a former Disney executive who was thought to be in contention for that CEO job before it was filled by Bob Chapek, said he had been looking forward to running a global company.
Sources told CNBC that a deal to buy TikTok’s U.S., Canadian, Australian, and New Zealand operations could be announced as soon as next week which may be valued between $20 billion to $30 billion.