- In an interview with WIRED published on Friday, billionaire Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates spoke about the state of coronavirus testing in the United States, vaccines and Microsoft’s potential TikTok deal.
- President Donald Trump issued an executive order on Thursday banning TikTok’s parent company – ByteDance, which is a Chinese company – from doing business in the United States.
- Regarding Microsoft’s potential acquisition of TikTok, Gates, who now serves as the company’s technology adviser, likened the deal to “a poisoned chalice.”
- Visit the Business Insider homepage for more stories.
Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates described Microsoft’s potential acquisition of TikTok as a “poisonous chalice” in an interview with WIRED published Friday.
Gates, who is now Microsoft’s technology adviser after stepping down from the board in March to focus on philanthropic efforts, shared his thoughts on coronavirus testing, vaccinations and Microsoft’s potential TikTok deal.
Gates noted that “being big in the social media industry is no easy game,” telling the post that Microsoft making the industry more competitive is “probably a good thing.”
Asked about President Donald Trump’s request that TikTok be sold to an American company, with the federal government taking a cut, Gates called the move “strange.”
“I agree that the principle on which this takes place is singularly strange. The cut is doubly strange. Either way, Microsoft will have to deal with it all, ”he said.
Gates also deviated when asked if he was “suspicious” of Microsoft getting into the social media “game”.
“I mean, it might sound interested, but I think being more competitive is probably a good thing. But having Trump kill the only competitor is pretty weird, ”he said.
Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in July that the United States was considering a possible ban on the TikTok app. In late July, The New York Times reported that Microsoft was in talks to acquire TikTok.
In August, Microsoft officially confirmed that it was in talks to acquire TikTok’s operations in the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, and said it would complete talks by September 15. .
On Thursday, President Trump issued an executive order prohibiting TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, a Chinese company, from “any transaction by anyone, or relating to any property, subject to United States jurisdiction.” President Trump mentioned in order that the popular app could “allow the Chinese Communist Party to access Americans’ personal and proprietary information.”
On Saturday, NPR reported that “a person who was directly involved in the upcoming lawsuit but who was not authorized to speak on behalf of the company” said TikTok plans to sue the Trump administration as early as Tuesday.