(CNBC) Microsoft has held talks to buy the TikTok video-sharing mobile app from Chinese owner ByteDance, one person close to the situation said. This person characterized the talks as having been underway for some time, not brand new.
A TikTok acquisition could make Microsoft, a major provider of business software, more concentrated on consumer technology, which Microsoft has moved away from somewhat in recent years, by exiting the smartphone hardware, fitness hardware and e-book markets. Microsoft bought LinkedIn for $27 billion in 2016. In 2014, the company paid $2.5 billion to buy game developer Mojang, whose Minecraft game is popular among younger users who also make up TikTok’s core audience in the U.S.