Walmart has partnered with Microsoft on the technology giant's bid to acquire the social video-sharing app TikTok, a company representative shared in a statement over email. The news was first confirmed by CNBC.
In its statement, Walmart called out TikTok's promising capabilities around advertising and e-commerce. The retailer added that the platform could provide an important way for "us to reach and serve omnichannel customers as well as grow our third-party marketplace and advertising businesses."
Sources told CNBC that TikTok's parent company ByteDance is closing in on a deal to sell the app's operations in the U.S., Canada, Australia and New Zealand, with a valuation in the $20 billion to $30 billion range. ByteDance is divesting the business in those markets under the threat of a ban from the Trump administration, which views its roots in China as a threat to national security and economic interests.
While details of the agreement are sparse, Walmart partnering with Microsoft on a bid to acquire TikTok is another indication that the social video app's sale will seriously shake up the digital media sector. Walmart stands to gain access to a platform that has formidable potential in e-commerce and advertising — two areas the big-box retailer is investing heavily in as it tries to grow a fledgling media network and keep pace with online rivals like Amazon.
"The way TikTok has integrated e-commerce and advertising capabilities in other markets is a clear benefit to creators and users in those markets," Walmart's statement reads. "We believe a potential relationship with TikTok US in partnership with Microsoft could add this key functionality and provide Walmart with an important way for us to reach and serve omnichannel customers as well as grow our third-party marketplace and advertising businesses."
Walmart added that it was confident the partnership would meet the demands of both TikTok users and regulators in the U.S.