Twitter In Talks to Buy TikTok Ahead of Donald Trump's Ban

Twitter is interested in buying video-sharing social media network TikTok, according to The Wall [...]

Twitter is interested in buying video-sharing social media network TikTok, according to The Wall Street Journal. The news comes after President Donald Trump announced that he would ban the Chinese-owned service in the United States if an American company does not take over its operations by September 15th. The Journal says that Twitter had preliminary discussions with TikTok's parent company, ByteDance, but it's unclear whether Twitter will further pursue an acquisition deal. Purchasing the video-sharing network would be a fascinating move for Twitter, at least in the eyes of those who still mourn Vine's loss, another video-sharing app that Twitter purchased in 2012 only to shut down four years later. Microsoft has also shown interest in purchasing TikTok.

On Monday, Trump announced the September 15th acquisition deadline for TikTok to remain operational in the United States. "It can't be controlled for security reasons by China," Trump said during the meeting with members of his cabinet. "A very substantial portion of that price is going to have to come into the Treasury of the United States because we're making it possible for this deal to happen."

TikTok's United States General Manager Vanessa Pappas released a statement after Trump's feelings about TikTok became public knowledge in late July. "I want to say thank you to the millions of Americans who use TikTok every day, bringing their creativity and joy into our daily lives. We've heard your outpouring of support, and we want to say thank you, and we're not planning on going anywhere," Pappas said. "TikTok is a home for creators and artists to express themselves, create ideas, and connect with individuals across different backgrounds. We are so proud of the various communities that call TikTok their home. I'm also proud of our 1,500 U.S. employees that work on this app every day. The additional 10,000 jobs that we're bringing into this country over the next three years.

"I'm thrilled about our U.S. Creator Fund, where we just announced our $1-billion-fund to support our creators. When it comes to safety and security, we're building the safest app because we know it's the right thing to do. So, we appreciate the support. We're here for the long run. Continue to share your voice here, and let's stand for TikTok."

ByteDance launched Douyin, TikTok's Chinese counterpart, in 2016. TikTok launched in international markets in 2017. In 2018, after ByteDance merged with lip-syncing social network, TikTok went global and debuted in the United States. The platform allows users to create and to share looping videos of up to a minute in length. TikTok reports that more than 1 billion people use the network outside of China.

Image by Drew Angerer/Getty Images