“We believe a potential relationship with TikTok US in partnership with Microsoft could add this key functionality and provide Walmart with an important way for us to reach and serve omnichannel customers as well as grow our third-party marketplace and advertising businesses,” Walmart said in a statement as reported by CNBC. “We are confident that a Walmart and Microsoft partnership would meet both the expectations of US TikTok users while satisfying the concerns of US government regulators.”
Earlier this month, a forthcoming ban of Tiktok and WeChat by the Trump administration was announced, forcing both companies to either sell their U.S. operations to an American company or face unspecified legal consequences.
One might ask why Microsoft and Walmart are teaming up on this deal. Microsoft buying Tiktok certainly makes sense, but Walmart is a strange choice for a potential owner. A key aspect of this deal is the pre-existing partnership between the two companies. Two years earlier, Walmart signed a five-year deal with Microsoft to adopt Azure cloud infrastructure and Office 365 software for its operations.
The Microsoft and Walmart Tiktok purchase isn’t finalized, mind — the two companies will be teaming up to bid on the service. They may face competition for bids on the social media service in the coming weeks.