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CHINA BRIEF | Tiktok reportedly nears sale, Walmart joins bid

The buyer is likely to be a Microsoft-Walmart consortium or Oracle, according to sources.

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A deal for the short video app TikTok, which would value its US operations between USD 20 billion and USD 30 billion, is set to close in the next 48 hours, and the winner is likely to be a Microsoft-Walmart consortium or Oracle, CNBC reported on Thursday.

The last-minute participation of the supermarket chain signals a push into e-commerce where rival Amazon leads the scene. “We believe a potential relationship with TikTok US 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,” the retailer said in a statement.

On Wednesday evening, TikTok CEO Kevin Mayer quit his job after just three months, as pressure from the Trump administration is mounting. General manager Vanessa Pappas will take on the role as interim head, the company informed.

TikTok has become the most successful China-made app and gained fame internationally. However, the story might end with a forced deal, providing a lesson to its Chinese peers with presence in overseas markets. Per CB Insights data, Beijing-based ByteDance is the world’s most valuable unicorn with a valuation of USD 140 billion, more than twice the USD 56 billion of runner-up Didi Chuxing.

This article is part of KrASIA’s “China Brief” section, where KrASIA’s reporters will provide quick daily updates about the tech ecosystem in China.