Angela Lang / CNET

Add Twitter to TikTok's list of potential dance partners. The Wall Street Journal reported Saturday that the social network had preliminary talks with TikTok to purchase the US operations of the hugely popular Chinese-owned video app.

On Thursday US President Donald Trump passed an executive order that would effectively ban TikTok in the USA. However, with the order coming in for next month, the prospect of a sale to a US-based company remains open.

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Microsoft, Apple, Google and Facebook have been named in the press as potential buyers, and Microsoft has confirmed it is pursuing a deal.

Trump and others say TikTok poses a national security threat as it gathers data from US users and its owner ByteDance is indebted to the Chinese communist government. ByteDance has denied that the app posed such a threat.

It's unclear whether Twitter will actually pursue a deal, the journal said, citing anonymous sources. Microsoft is still in negotiations, the news agency said, and since Twitter is smaller, it would be harder to raise enough money to buy the app.

A Microsoft TikTok deal could be worth anywhere from $ 10 billion to $ 30 billion, depending on how much TikTok the tech giant has agreed to, CNBC has reported. Twitter's market capitalization is approximately $ 29 billion and Microsoft is over $ 1.6 trillion.

However, Twitter's smaller size could be beneficial, according to the social media company, as it would not be subject to the same antitrust scrutiny, the Journal said.

Marriage to TikTok wouldn't be Twitter's first foray into short videos. In 2012 the company became bought Startup Vine for $ 30 million just to shut down Vine in 2016.

Both Twitter and TikTok declined to comment on the journal report.


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