Twitter Inc is in early talks about a potential merger with TikTok, according to a Dow Jones report citing people familiar with the matter. The report said that it's unclear whether Twitter will pursue a deal, which would involve TikTok's US operations.
The news report comes a few days after US President Donald Trump signed two separate executive orders banning popular Chinese apps like TikTok and WeChat, terming them a threat to the national security and to the country's economy. The ban comes into effect in 45 days.
Earlier, a Bloomberg report said that Microsoft Corp has been negotiating for weeks with TikTok's owner, Beijing-based ByteDance Ltd., and is considered the front-runner for any possible deal. However, since Twitter's valuation is much smaller than that of Microsoft's, the report citing people familiar with the matter reasoned that it probably wouldn't face the same level of antitrust scrutiny as Microsoft Corp or other potential bidders.
Twitter's market capitalisation is about $29 billion when compared to Microsoft's more than $1.6 trillion valuation.
Dow Jones said that Twitter would almost certainly need help from other investors if it does buy TikTok, and counted private-equity firm Silver Lake among its investors.