Who can actually "buy" TikTok, valued at $200 billion?


TikTok's valuation reached $200 billion, igniting global debates on potential acquirers. Despite financial and tech hurdles, Microsoft, Oracle, and Apple emerge as key bidders. A successful buy could transform the industry, though ByteDance's stance

Recently, as TikTok's valuation reached an impressive 200 billion US dollars, the global market's discussion about who could "buy" this video-sharing giant has become increasingly heated. As one of the most popular short video platforms worldwide, TikTok not only has a huge user base among young people, but its impact on the global market is also significant.


Looking back at 2020, amidst national security concerns, then-U.S. President Donald Trump had intervened strongly, trying to force ByteDance to sell TikTok to an American company. In a tense acquisition battle, Oracle, supported by companies like Walmart, defeated Microsoft to become the "winner" of the contest. However, all these efforts were thwarted by federal court intervention, and the deal ultimately fell through.

Today, despite the increased difficulty in acquiring TikTok, market analyst Ives still expects that potential buyers will mainly include tech giants like Microsoft, Oracle, and Apple. For Microsoft and Oracle, raising the 200 billion dollars needed for the acquisition is a significant challenge. Microsoft reportedly has about 81 billion dollars in cash and equivalents, while Oracle has only a small portion of the required funds available.

Faced with this financial challenge, the key for any potential buyer lies in securing access to TikTok's core algorithm. This technology is not only the heart of TikTok's success but is also used by ByteDance for other products such as its short video platform Douyin in China. Thus, obtaining rights to the algorithm is crucial for any final buyer.

Besides these tech giants, some large investment funds and consortia have also shown a keen interest in TikTok. With their rich experience in investment and acquisitions, they have unique insights into capital appreciation through the acquisition of TikTok. However, given TikTok's vast influence and data sensitivity, any acquisition must face strict government scrutiny, adding uncertainty to the entire process.

Market analysts note that any successful acquisition of TikTok would be a milestone event in the tech and media industry. It would not only reshape the competitive landscape of the global social media and short video market but could also trigger a series of discussions on data security, content regulation, and market monopolies.

Despite the heated discussions, whether ByteDance, TikTok's parent company, is willing to sell one of its most valuable assets and under what conditions remains an unknown. ByteDance has a wide-ranging global market strategy, and as a key part of its international strategy, TikTok's future is filled with possibilities.



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Acquisition refers to the process in which a company or individual gains control or ownership of a target company by purchasing its equity or assets.

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