Failed TikTok deal 'strangest thing I've worked on', says Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella

WION Web Team
New DelhiUpdated: Sep 28, 2021, 03:44 PM IST

File photo of Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella. Photograph:(Reuters)

Story highlights

Microsoft tried to acquire TikTok in 2020 after then US President Donald Trump ordered TikTok to separate its US version from its Chinese paraent over data security concerns. The talks failed and the deal could not go through. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella spoke about this at Code Conference in Beverly Hills, California

Microsoft's Chief Executive Officer Satya Nadella said on Monday that the company's near acquisition of social media app TikTok was the "strangest thing" he had "ever worked on"

Former US President Donald Trump had ordered TikTok to separate its US version from Chinese parent company ByteDance over concerns of data security of US users. Microsoft had begun acquisition talks in August 2020 but the deal collapsed by September.

Trump's divestment push ended by the time he left office in January and no potential suitor ending up acquiring TikTok.

Nadella was speaking at the Code Conference in Beverly Hills, California. He said that he was looking forward to bringing Microsoft's security, child safety and cloud expertise to TikTok.

"It's unbelievable," Nadella said of the experience during an on-stage interview. "I learned so many things about so much and so many people. First of all, TikTok came to us. We didn't go to TikTok."

"TikTok was caught in between a lot of things happening across two capitals," Nadella continued. "President Trump had a particular point of view of what he was trying to get done there, and then it just dropped off. The [U.S. government] had a particular set of requirements and then it just disappeared."

Nadella said Microsoft's services related to content moderation and child safety was what had attracted TikTOk CEO Zhang Yiming to Microsoft.

ByteDance did not immediately respond to Reuter's request for comment.

Nadella said he has no idea whether the US is still pushing for a deal under President Joe Biden. The Biden administration has said it is reviewing the national security concerns 

"At this point, I'm happy with what I have," Nadella said.

He also expressed support for greater government regulation of cryptocurrency rules, which could stifle ransomware attacks since the ransoms often flow through opaque systems.