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Microsoft CEO Says TikTok Talks Were 'Strangest' Negotiation

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said Monday that his company's failed move to take over TikTok's American assets was strange. 

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Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said Monday that his company’s failed move to take over TikTok’s American assets was strange. 

Brad Barket | Getty Images

In fact, he said, the discussion was “the strangest thing I’ve ever sort of worked on.”

Nadella made the comments during the Code Conference, telling the New York Times’ Kara Swisher about how Microsoft was in the running to take over TikTok last year after then-president Donald Trump threatened to ban the app. 

Trump threatened to force ByteDance, which owns TikTok, to sell the popular video application to a U.S. owner. ByteDance eventually struck a deal with Oracle and Walmart, but it proved unnecessary: President Joe Biden’s administration halted the sale “indefinitely” in February. 

“I was pretty intrigued,” Nadella recalled. “I must say, it’s a great property. Obviously, everyone has seen that growth and what have you and I guess the rest is history.”

“That growth” is certainly something. Nadella’s comments came the same day TikTok announced that it had hit a milestone: “More than 1 billion people around the world now come to TikTok every month to be entertained as they learn, laugh, or discover something new. We're honored to be a home for our immensely diverse community of families, small businesses, and creators who transform into our favorite stars.”