“There is no God-given right for US tech companies to assume that there can be no other technical force,” Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella told Bloomberg TV in an interview that aired on Wednesday. (GeekWire Photo Illustration)
The news this morning that the Biden administration has stopped selling TikTok’s U.S. operations further shows how extraordinary the Trump administration is in forcing the divestment by its parent company, China’s ByteDance, and confirms Microsoft is one Avoided political quagmire and a possible distraction if the TikTok offer failed last year.
Last development: The proposed sale to a group that includes Oracle and Walmart has been “suspended indefinitely”. The Wall Street Journal reported this morningciting unnamed sources. President Biden has “embarked on a comprehensive review of his predecessor’s efforts to address potential security risks posed by Chinese tech companies,” he added.
Background: Microsoft’s offering for TikTok failed in September After the company insisted on taking full control of the U.S. operations, data, source code, and algorithms of the social video app, it declined to settle for a lesser deal that held these vital assets not put in his hands. Microsoft wanted to expand into social video, but its interest puzzled longtime watchers who viewed it as a mismatch. “Unfortunately, you can’t justify that,” said Mary Jo Foley from ZDNets All About Microsoft in a recent GeekWire podcast appearance.
Implications: Biden’s decision suggests he may be taking steps to avoid “decoupling” the US and Chinese economies, Wedbush analyst Dan Ives said in a research report on Wednesday morning: “In its first 100 days, the could TikTok situation may be a litmus test for Biden’s first on the road to ending the US-China Cold Tech War if he may repeal this executive order related to the sale / divestment of US operations by TikTok. “Ives called the move” a bullish sign for the tech sector “.
Big picture: in the an interview with Bloomberg TVWhen broadcast on Wednesday, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella pointed out the importance of competition to the overall health of the tech economy, including companies from China, as long as national security concerns are addressed. “There is no God-given right for US technology companies to assume that there cannot be any other technical force,” said Nadella. “We all need to be more grounded on the west coast of the United States because sometimes I think we’re celebrating our own progress way too much.”
Publisher’s Note: Microsoft provides financial support for GeekWire’s independent journalism as an underwriter of our citizen reporting. Reporting decisions are made at the sole discretion of the GeekWire editorial team, with no involvement or influence from underwriters. Learn more about signed content in GeekWire.