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Walmart joins Microsoft bid for TikTok as TikTok CEO quits

FILE PHOTO: China and U.S. flags are seen near a TikTok logo in this illustration picture taken July 16, 2020. (REUTERS/Florence Lo/Illustration)

By Yingzhi Yang, Kanishka Singh and Echo Wang

Walmart Inc said it was joining Microsoft in a bid for social media company TikTok’s U.S. assets, revealing its plans hours after Chief Executive Kevin Mayer said he would step down.

Mayer is leaving just three months after joining, in the middle of negotiations to sell the Chinese-owned video app’s U.S. operations to Microsoft Corp or Oracle Corp.

Retailer Walmart lauded TikTok’s e-commerce and advertising capabilities. The sale of TikTok is happening as the company is under fire from the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump as a potential national security risk due to the vast amount of private data the app is compiling on U.S. consumers.

The Trump administration has demanded that China’s ByteDance, which owns TikTok globally, sell its U.S. operations. Earlier this week, TikTok also sued over an executive order effectively banning it in the United States.

“We are confident that a Walmart and Microsoft partnership would meet both the expectations of U.S. TikTok users while satisfying the concerns of U.S. government regulators,” Walmart said in a statement.

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