Video-sharing platform TikTok could become totally independent from its owner ByteDance to continue operating overseas, SCMP reported Sunday citing to a source who has been briefed on the discussions.
Despite reports that video-sharing platform TikTok would be taken over by Microsoft, ByteDance founder Zhang Yiming and investors were reluctant to sell to the US company, the report said.
If TikTok is able to continue operating in the US, the board of ByteDance will agree to a complete spin-off for the overseas version of the app, which operates under the name Douyin in China, according to SCMP.
The new entity would keep the TikTok name, but will have different management and will no longer answer to ByteDance.
“Except for Zhang Yiming, almost all those in the room favour such a spin-off,” the source said. “The mood is kind of: ‘the founder will be out and the house will be ours’.
“But even for Zhang himself, there’s really no other option because the app will be killed if you don’t let it go.”
The Wall Street Journal reported Saturday that Microsoft and Bytedance have put negotiations to buy the US operations of the app on hold after President Trump signaled opposition.
The negotiations aren't believed to be dead, but the companies are trying to get clarity on White House's stance, the WSJ said.
Trump's statements spurred TikTok to make additional concessions, including agreeing to add as many as 10,000 jobs in the US over the next three years, but it isn't clear if those will alter Trump's stance, the report said.
ByteDance was previously seeking to keep a minority stake in the US business of TikTok, which the White House had rejected.
Under a new proposed deal, some ByteDance investors that are based in the United States may be given the opportunity to take minority stakes in the business, according to Reuters.