- Some Microsoft employees disapproved of the potential deal with TikTok, as per a report.
- Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates called the potential deal a poisoned chalice.
- US President Donald Trump issued an executive order essentially banning TikTok and WeChat from the US.
Microsoft employees in a company poll have shown a negative sentiment over Microsoft's potential deal to buy TikTok. Microsoft employees showed their disapproval in one of the company's internal Yammer groups seen by Business Insider.
Microsoft's internal Yammer group called the CEO Connection allows employees to ask questions from the company CEO, Satya Nadella over company matters.
One of the recent polls on the group asked the employees, "Should Microsoft buy TikTok?" to which 63 percent of employees said "no" and 18 percent said, "not sure." Only 18 percent of the responders said "yes."
Although only 250 people out of Microsoft's 150,000 had voted at the time Business Insider saw the poll, they largely disapproved of the acquisition.
"This is the first time in a long time that I've had doubt gnawing at the pit of my stomach that maybe we're not doing the right thing," Business Insider quoted an employee's comment. Other comments too voiced disapproval.
Another employee said, "This deal is unethical from pretty much any perspective." The employee also stated that Microsoft would even be considering stepping into this situation is unthinkable. One employee's comment spoke about US President Donald Trump's condition for a substantial portion for the US treasury and called it a "bribe.". Another one said, "Even if it turns out we were pursuing acquiring them before this, and the POTUS was just [talking] about tax revenue benefits, not an explicit payoff, the fact the US government is forcing the sale still looks bad on us. We should walk away."
Earlier, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates in an interview called Microsoft's potential deal with TikTok a poisoned chalice. "Who knows what's going to happen with that deal," says Gates. "But yes, it's a poison[ed] chalice." He further calls Trump's threat to ban the app bizarre saying that the ban will kill all competition for Facebook. Commenting on Trump's demand for the US treasury Gates said, "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."
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has said that the banning of TikTok worries him. "I just think it's a really bad long-term precedent, and that it needs to be handled with the utmost care and gravity whatever the solution is. I am really worried ... it could very well have long-term consequences in other countries around the world."
Trump ordered an executive ban on TikTok and the Chinese messaging app WeChat on August 6. If Microsoft does acquire TikTok in the given deadline of 45 days, it could be one of the largest acquisitions by the company.