Microsoft was initially only interested in a small minority stake in TikTok owner ByteDance, The New York Times reports. The company mainly wanted to persuade the social medium to switch from Google Cloud to Microsoft Azure.
Only later did it become a conversation about a partial takeover of TIkTok, The New York Times reports in a background article on the ongoing talks. The companies involved have not confirmed the information in the article and the newspaper relies on anonymous sources for the story.
Initially, Microsoft was mainly concerned with a minority stake, mainly to persuade ByteDance to switch from Google Cloud to Microsoft Azure for hosting. That would provide Microsoft with a new major customer for its cloud service. ByteDance wanted to add a shareholder with Microsoft who has good ties with the US government.
Both companies are now talking about a partial takeover of TikTok. The talks range from just the North American part to the whole of TikTok outside of China. The amounts involved run from 20 to 50 billion dollars. Oracle would also be interested, but talks with Microsoft would be more advanced. The sale of part of TikTok is said to be under duress, because the US government wants to ban the app if it remains in Chinese hands.