This post originally appeared on Gizmodo UK, which is gobbling up the news in a different timezone.
Short-form video app TikTok is having a bit of a ‘mare, with Donald Trump constantly threatening to ban it and whatnot. Now, as the company looks at setting up shop in the UK, Apple has denied reports that it’s considering buying the social network.
We know that Microsoft is in talks to buy specific parts of TikTok’s global operations: the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. But unsurprisingly, if the app is up for sale, other tech companies are likely interested – especially those that haven’t done well at the whole social networking game.
Microsoft recently shut down its Twitch competitor, Mixer, after a very short run, so maybe it’s thinking buying things that are already successful is the way to go. That’s been Facebook’s model with Instagram and WhatsApp, although it is also constantly releasing random new apps that never catch on – the latest being the very odd retro-internet-themed Egg.
The original report that Apple was interested in TikTok came from Axios, sourced to people outside the company. Apple then told The Verge it’s not in talks and has no plans to be. The company is notoriously secretive about what it’s up to, so we’re sure some people won’t be convinced by its denials, but it’d be unusual to come out and say “no, we’re not doing this” rather than just refusing to comment if they were, in fact, considering the deal.
Axios also reported that there’s lots of interest in TikTok on the private equity side, and Microsoft says it’s happy to share the pie with minority stakeholders.
Who would you like to see own TikTok? Perhaps Yahoo, so it could be run into the ground for six months and then “sunsetted”? Google, who would rebrand it, then slowly merge it into an existing Google service with half the features? Swatch, because it’s called TikTok? Let us know in the comments. [The Verge]