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Bill Gates feels Microsoft's potential deal with TikTok is poisoned chalice

Microsoft had expressed its desire to buy TikTok's global operations but its co-founder Bill Gates is not sure how the deal will pan out.

twitter-logoAnkita Chakravarti | August 10, 2020 | Updated 18:05 IST

Highlights

  • Bill Gates calls Microsoft's potential deal with TikTok a “poisoned chalice.”
  • Gates has called US President Donald Trump’s decision to ban TikTok as “pretty bizarre”.
  • Microsoft had expressed its desire to buy TikTok’s global operations.

Microsoft had expressed its desire to buy TikTok's global operations but its co-founder Bill Gates is not sure how the deal will pan out. In an interview with the Wired, Gates said that he is unsure about the deal and even called it a "poisoned chalice." He also called US President Donald Trump's decision to ban TikTok as "pretty bizarre".

Talking about the purported deal, Bill Gates said, "Who knows what's going to happen with that deal. But yes, it's a poison chalice. Being big in the social media business is no simple game, like the encryption issue." Although Gates was appreciative of Microsoft entering the social media space, he wasn't too happy with Trump's decision to ban TikTok in the United States.

"I mean, this may sound self-serving, but I think that the game being more competitive is probably a good thing. But having Trump kill off the only competitor, it's pretty bizarre," he told the Wired.

Trump had also said that the government should get a cut in the sale of TikTok's US operations but Gates finds it rather strange. "I agree that the principle this is proceeding on is singly strange. The cut thing, that's doubly strange. Anyway, Microsoft will have to deal with all of that," he said.

Microsoft had earlier released a statement that it is in talks with the US government and Bytedance to acquire the US operations of TikTok. But recently there were rumors that the American company is also eying to take over the global operations of TikTok as per a Financial Times report. If Microsoft takes over the entire operations of TikTok including India operations, the app could make a comeback in the country. TikTok along with 58 other Chinese apps were banned and blocked in India due to security reasons.

TikTok had one of the largest user bases in India with over 600 million users in the country. India's decision to ban TikTok was however not unprecedented as the anti-china sentiments were on a rise ever since the two countries clashed at the Galwan valley.

Now as per the latest developments, Twitter has expressed its desire to buy TikTok. As per a report by the Wall Street Journal, Twitter was in preliminary talks for a potential deal with TikTok's US operations. However, the analysts have claimed that the deal is highly unlikely to take place because Twitter doesn't have the kind of financial backing to take over something so huge as TikTok.

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