The TikTok soap opera against Trump is here to stay. According to the agency Reuters, Microsoft is currently trying to convince the US government of its inability to completely absorb the Chinese social network by September 15, the deadline set by Donald Trump. Transferring the application’s code, data, and algorithm could take over a year, forcing Microsoft to depend on ByteDance’s servers for several months. All this is all the more problematic as there would ultimately be three different versions of TikTok across the world.
TikTok, TikTok US and Douyin
Indeed, at the risk of surprising you, TikTok is not available in China. There, it is the social network Douyin which is successful with a very similar formula, but less freedom of expression. The apps are based on the same base but have two separate codes, which prevents Douyin’s content from appearing on TikTok, and vice versa.
In the event of Microsoft’s takeover of TikTok, the situation could become more complex. Unless you convince ByteDance to sell it all of TikTok, Microsoft would only recover the US, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand sectors. European, Asian, African and South American TikToks would remain properties of ByteDance, which would therefore develop them independently. Microsoft must find a way to coexist with this clone without causing technical problems. It will take time.
Of course, this problem will only arise if Microsoft and ByteDance agree on an offer. Donald Trump has given the two companies until September 15 to reach a deal, but for now the two giants are mostly playing a good game of poker.