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Separating TikTok from ByteDance won’t be done in 45 days


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Who’d have thought it: untangling a company from its parent corporation takes time. Reuters is reporting that if Microsoft wants to buy TikTok within President Trump’s 45-day deadline, it will surely have to negotiate more time to actually separate the social app from ByteDance.

“A technically complex endeavor that could test the patience of President Donald Trump’s administration,” in its words. This task is about technological separation – from TikTok’s server code to the data powering its recommendation algorithm – as well as (if Microsoft only buys TikTok in the US, Canada and Australasia as it announced) geographical separation outside China.

We don’t mean to be impertinent, but we sense President Trump may not be entirely up to speed on the intricacies of all this, and how long it may take.

In separate news, TechCrunch has some estimates of ByteDance revenues, and TikTok’s contribution to them. It suggests that ByteDance was predicting revenues of $28.7bn for 2020, with TikTok (grouped with its other emerging businesses like games and e-commerce) accounting for around 15% of those revenues.

Stuart Dredge

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