Apple may be interested buying TikTok too, report says

Microsoft is publicly courting the virally popular app, but Apple may be one of several companies expressing interest too, according to the report.

Joan E. Solsman Former Senior Reporter
Joan E. Solsman was CNET's senior media reporter, covering the intersection of entertainment and technology. She's reported from locations spanning from Disneyland to Serbian refugee camps, and she previously wrote for Dow Jones Newswires and The Wall Street Journal. She bikes to get almost everywhere and has been doored only once.
Expertise Streaming video, film, television and music; virtual, augmented and mixed reality; deep fakes and synthetic media; content moderation and misinformation online Credentials
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Joan E. Solsman

TikTok has been at the center of takeover speculation. 

Angela Lang/CNET

Apple may have expressed interest in possibly buying TikTok, according to a report, the latest in a swirl of speculation about takeover interest in the virally popular social media app. 

Apple is one of several parties that has expressed interest in TikTok, according to a report Tuesday from Axios, citing multiple unnamed sources; the report disclosed that none of those sources are inside Apple. The iPhone maker didn't immediately respond to a message seeking comment, but Bloomberg reporters tweeted later that the company said it has had no discussion to buy TikTok and isn't interested in a deal. 

TikTok, known for its quirky, short videos, is owned by Beijing-based tech company ByteDance. Its links to China have stoked political pressure to explore a sale of TikTok to a US-based company or risk being potentially banned from operating in the US. President Donald Trump has said he's considering an order to force ByteDance to divest itself of TikTok, and later suggested the US should receive a portion of the transaction price. (It's unclear whether the government has the authority to request such a payment.)

Microsoft has been public about its "continuing discussion" for a TikTok takeover. 

Later Tuesday, Fox Business reported that Google and Facebook both had expressed interest in TikTok in the past and that TikTok indeed has multiple suitors. Google and Facebook didn't immediately respond to messages seeking comment.

See also: Trump targets TikTok: Everything you need to know

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