US retail giant Walmart has said it will bid for the US operations of Tiktok in collaboration with Microsoft.
Walmart told the BBC that it felt a deal with the Chinese video-sharing app would help it expand its operations.
TikTok has been given 90 days to sell its US branch to an American firm or face a ban in the country. Donald Trump has alleged that it shares its user data with Beijing – claiming that it denies it.
Earlier on Thursday, the firm’s owner resigned in furtherance of the impending ban.
A Walmart spokesman told the BBC, confirming that the company was pursuing a deal, “We believe that a Walmart and Microsoft partnership satisfies the concerns of US government regulators, both US Ticketoks Meets users’ expectations. Will complete
In early August, after Microsoft confirmed that it was in talks with Tickcock, he told the BBC that “he had nothing to share at this time”.
Along with Walmart, which owns the UK supermarket chain Asda, it will now go up against other potential bidders, including US tech giant Oracle.
- TikTok boss quits as Trump’s ban looms
- TikTok founder defends potential Microsoft sale
According to reports, Tiktok’s US operation could reach $ 30bn (£ 22bn) if a deal is executed.
Since its global launch at the end of 2018, Tiktok has attracted a significant number, especially among the under-25s.
The app lets its followers create short videos with the help of an extensive database of songs and a wide range of filters.
Data at risk?
However, the Trump administration has accused its boss, the Chinese internet firm BuyDance, of being a threat to US national security.
It added that the company collects data from its 800 million users – 100 million of whom are in the US – at risk of exploitation by the Chinese government.
India’s government has banned dozens of more Chinese-made apps as well as Tikkok, claiming that they “briefly” broadcast users’ data.
Beijing has denied claims that the US embargo was politically motivated.
ByteDance founder Zhang Yiming has faced criticism for his decision to sell the US company. But in a letter to his Chinese employees, he said that this was the only way to prevent the app from going down in the US.
It is not the only Chinese-owned app to attract suspicion from US authorities – messaging app WeChat is also banned.