Briefing

Microsoft reportedly in talks to buy TikTok from Chinese parent firm ByteDance

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President Donald Trump is expected to call on the Chinese tech giant to sell the wildly popular short-video platform. Bloomberg reported the order could come as early as Friday and that Microsoft is considering purchasing the firm. (Bloomberg)

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Talking point: The U.S. government has been reviewing potential national security threats linked to TikTok, best known for launching Gen Z dance crazes. Earlier this week, two senators sent a letter to the Justice Department demanding an investigation into the company along with video-conferencing firm Zoom. TikTok has denied sharing user data with the Chinese government. The anticipated order follows an inquiry into U.S. Big Tech firms’ dominance in the market. In testimony before Congress earlier this week, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg raised the risks of large Chinese tech firms, suggesting their dominance—not that of American firms which he said uphold democratic principles—is the real threat: “If you look at where the top technology came from a decade ago, the vast majority were American. Today, almost half are Chinese.” Microsoft was the only one of America’s five largest tech companies to avoid Congress’s scrutiny this week; it may give it a better chance than its rivals of satisfying antitrust regulators should it pursue a TikTok acquisition. And it could give the company a chance to revive its Windows 95 launch dance moves.