Walmart says it’s partnering with Microsoft on a potential TikTok deal. The retailer is pitching the partnership as a way for it to expand its advertising business and grow its third-party marketplace. It comes as reports suggest Microsoft is close to finalizing a deal with TikTok, that could be announced in the coming days.
“The way TikTok has integrated e-commerce and advertising capabilities in other markets is a clear benefit to creators and users in those markets,” says a Walmart spokesperson in a statement to CNBC. “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. We are confident that a Walmart and Microsoft partnership would meet both the expectations of US TikTok users while satisfying the concerns of US government regulators.”
A Walmart and Microsoft partnership wouldn’t be the first both companies. Microsoft and Walmart teamed up to take on Amazon a couple of years ago. The deal has led to Walmart using Azure and Microsoft 365 across its business, alongside new projects focused on machine learning, artificial intelligence, and data platforms.
The Walmart TikTok involvement also comes just hours after Kevin Mayer quit as TikTok CEO due to ongoing political turmoil. Trump demanded that an American company purchase TikTok’s US business, and Microsoft has emerged as the front runner in the ongoing talks. Companies like Oracle and Netflix have also both reportedly been interested in TikTok, with at least one report suggesting Oracle is getting close to securing some type of deal.