Twitter and TikTok explore merger as Trump ban looms

The WSJ said a number of companies, including Apple, Google, and Facebook have expressed interest in TikTok.

In this photo illustration, the Tik Tok app is displayed on an Apple iPhone on November 01, 2019 in San Anselmo, California. (Photo Illustration by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

TikTok and Twitter are in talks about the possibility of joining forces. A report from the Wall Street Journal says that the two popular social media platforms are having preliminary discussions.

Representatives from both Twitter and TikTok declined to comment, with TikTok’s, Josh Gartner, head of corporate communications saying, “we don’t comment on market rumors.”

The WSJ said a number of companies, including Apple, Google, and Facebook have expressed interest in the China-based app, but none have publicly announced their interest.

READ MORE: TikTok is set to sue Trump Administration

Microsoft, which is viewed as the front runner for a deal with TikTok, has been the only company to publicly acknowledge its interest in buying the video-based platform.

Vanessa Pappas, general manager of TikTok, said that the company, owned by ByteDance, has 100 million U.S. users and employs more than 1,000 people in the U.S.

She said it does not operate any servers in China, although its app shares code with Douyin, ByteDance’s sister video app for the Chinese market.

READ MORE: Trump signs 4 executive orders after failed stimulus talks in Congress

As reported by theGrio, President Donald Trump has signed an executive order banning TikTok from doing business in the U.S., unless the video-sharing app is purchased by a U.S. company.

Trump accused the app of threatening the natural security, foreign policy, and the economy of the United States. Trump gave a deadline of September 21, so there is not much time left for action.

TikTok is prepared to file a federal lawsuit as early as Tuesday in the U.S District court for the Southern District of California.

Have you subscribed to theGrio’s podcast “Dear Culture”? Download our newest episodes now!