Bill Gates calls Microsoft-TikTok deal a ‘poison chalice’

He also said Trump’s decision to ban TikTok is ‘pretty bizarre’

bill-gates-afp [File] Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates | AFP

Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates has said that he believes the company’s deal with TikTok is a “poison chalice”. The company has expressed its interest in acquiring the US operations of the video-sharing app, helping Microsoft enter the social media space.

Gates said that managing a social media is not simple, akin to the ongoing encryption issue. He described US President Donald Trump’s decision to ban TikTok as “pretty bizarre.”

“Who knows what’s going to happen with that deal. But yes, it’s a poison chalice. Being big in the social media business is no simple game, like the encryption issue,” Gates said and added that there should be more competition in the social media space.

“I mean, this may sound self-serving, but I think that the game being more competitive is probably a good thing. But having Trump kill off the only competitor, it’s pretty bizarre.”

Last week, Trump said that Chinese apps, including TikTok and WeChat, will be banned in the US over security and privacy concerns. India had also banned ByteDance-owned TikTok fast TikTok, along with several other Chinese apps, as it continues its action against China.

However, with the bid for the US operations of TikTok, Microsoft looks to make its presence known in the social networking space with an already massive userbase.

Trump also asked for a significant cut in the sale of TikTok’s US operations, which was also criticised by Gates.

“I agree that the principle this is proceeding on is singly strange. The cut thing, that’s doubly strange. Anyway, Microsoft will have to deal with all of that,” he said.