Bill Gates calls Microsoft-TikTok deal a ‘poison chalice’

Andrew Cummings
August 10, 2020

In an job interview with WIRED posted Friday, the billionaire Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates talked about the state of U.S. coronavirus tests, vaccines, and Microsoft's likely TikTok offer.

Last week, Trump said that Chinese apps, including TikTok and WeChat, will be banned in the United States over security and privacy concerns.

Here's more on what Gates said. But yes, it's a poison chalice.

However, as per reports, Twitter is unlikely to be TikTok's final destination in U.S., as analysts remain skeptical about Twitter having enough financial power to beat Microsoft to the deal.


"We have only taken care of ourselves" in producing and procuring a vaccine, Mr Gates said in an interview with Bloomberg News on Tuesday.

The billionaire described the order given by US President Donald Trump to Chinese-owned TikTok to sell the app to an American company as "strange", especially the requirement to give a cut of any deal to the federal government.

In an interview with the Wired, published on Saturday, the Microsoft co-founder said that being a top player in the social media business is not a simple job.

Gates also deflected when he was asked regardless of whether he was "wary" about Microsoft jumping into the social media "match". He further added that it will be a good thing as Microsoft's entry into social media would mean further competition for Facebook.


"[The] principle that this is proceeding on is singly odd".

In August, Microsoft officially confirmed it has been in talks to get TikTok's operations in the US, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, and mentioned it will complete discussions by September 15th.

President Trump issued an executive order on Thursday that will see TikTok's parent company ByteDance banned from "any transaction by any person, or with respect to any property, subject to the jurisdiction of the United States" beginning 45 days after the document's signing. "The cut thing, that's doubly odd.[But] Microsoft will have to deal with all of that". The deadline provided for the companies to put forth a proposal is September 15. Bytedance's most popular application, TikTok saw massive growth in the past couple of years, as it expanded its operations to all parts of the world.


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