Walmart has teamed up with Microsoft on its push to acquire TikTok’s operations in the U.S., Canada, Australia and New Zealand, according to multiple reports on Thursday morning. CNBC was the first outlet to report the news.
The retail juggernaut didn’t offer many details on how it would integrate with TikTok, but its interest comes as TikTok appears to be racing towards a deal in the near future. Earlier on Thursday morning, TheWrap reported Oracle has taken the lead position to acquire TikTok’s assets in a deal worth more than $20 billion.
Walmart did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment. The company told CNBC that it would help evolve TikTok’s e-commerce and advertising business if a deal was struck, adding it would be a “clear benefit” to creators and users.
“We believe a potential relationship with TikTok U.S. in partnership with Microsoft could add this key functionality and provide Walmart with an important way for us to reach and serve omnichannel customers as well as grow our third-party marketplace and advertising businesses,” Walmart told CNBC. “We are confident that a Walmart and Microsoft partnership would meet both the expectations of US TikTok users while satisfying the concerns of US government regulators.”
The news comes about 12 hours after Kevin Mayer, the former Disney executive, stepped down as TikTok’s CEO. TikTok’s push to close a deal with a U.S. firm has accelerated after President Donald Trump signed an executive order this month giving Bytedance, TikTok’s parent company, 90 days to offload its Western assets; the president pointed to “credible evidence” the app poses a national security threat.