Amid the Trump administration's security concerns, TikTok faced pressure to sell off its U.S. operations to an American buyer. With the threat of a national ban on the platform looming, TikTok's parent company ByteDance made a deal with Oracle and Walmart in which the retailer would acquire a minority stake in TikTok's U.S. operations and Walmart CEO Doug McMillon would receive a seat on the board of the new company. That deal is now on hold indefinitely as the Biden administration evaluates the security concerns over U.S. users' data in the hands of Chinese tech companies.
The setback to the deal has not dampened Walmart's enthusiasm. Doug McMillon once spoke of TikTok as a golden "discovery opportunity," especially among consumers in their teens and twenties, and for the retailer, that has not changed. Walmart held a livestream TikTok event in December, and it has since more than hinted at similar initiatives to come.
“We were really excited by what we saw and the engagement by customers and the experience,” Walmart’s chief customer officer, Janey Whiteside, said in a recent interview, when talking about the livestream TikTok event. “Expect more things like that from us over the coming days, weeks, months.”