The American retail giant Walmart and Microsoft have teamed up to negotiate a joint purchase of the Chinese application of shared videos TikTok, according to the specialized channel CNBC this Thursday.
“We believe that a potential relationship with TikTok in partnership with Microsoft could provide Walmart an important way for us to reach and serve customers through multiple channels, as well as grow our third-party market and advertising businesses,” Walmart noted in a statement sent to CNBC.
The retail firm added that its agreement with Microsoft, should the purchase materialize, “would meet the expectations of TikTok users in the United States and satisfy the concerns of federal government regulators.”
In recent months, amid escalating tensions between China and the United States, the president of the United States, Donald Trump, gave an ultimatum to Tiktok to abandon its activity in the country amid accusations that the application is a threat to American national security.
In this sense, on August 6, the president signed an executive order that prohibits any transaction or business with ByteDance, the Chinese developer of TikTok, from 45 days from that date, which has forced several potential buyers, among those who in addition to Walmart and Microsoft are the social network Twitter and Oracle, to accelerate their negotiations.
Bytedance, the parent of TikTok, is expected to announce in the coming days which company will be the buyer of its services in North America, New Zealand and Australia, according to sources familiar with the negotiation cited by local media.
Analysts suggest that, with this move, Walmart seeks to improve its competitiveness against Amazon, which completely dominates the electronic commerce market and has made a strong commitment to other businesses such as television production or video games.
For this reason, Walmart is planning to launch a membership program, called Walmart +, similar to Amazon’s “Prime.”
This would not be the first time that Walmart has partnered with Microsoft since two years ago they signed an agreement for the retail company to use Microsoft’s Azure cloud infrastructure for five years, and a package that includes the productivity applications of Office 365.
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