Hong Kong (CNN Business) Microsoft has spent decades building goodwill with Beijing, and that could help its bid to buy TikTok’s operations in the United States and a few other countries. That is, unless deteriorating US-China relations get in the way. Microsoft ( MSFT ) has emerged as the leading candidate to save TikTok from President Donald Trump’s threat to ban the app unless it finds an American buyer. The app is owned by Beijing-based ByteDance. A deal would give Microsoft ownership and operation of TikTok services in the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Unlike other big US tech companies, Microsoft has some major clout in China, and its products have a significant presence there. It has been in China since 1992, and employs 6,000 people in the country. Microsoft software is used by the Chinese government and companies, LinkedIn is a popular social media platform for Chinese professionals, and Bing is the only foreign search engine with any amount of market share in the country. The Washington State-based company also boasts an A-list alumni network in China, thanks to the hugely influential Microsoft Research Lab Asia, or MSRA. Trump’s real goal is for TikTok to disappear entirely,… Read full this story
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