What happened

Shares of Walmart (WMT -0.73%) were rising 5% in afternoon trading Thursday after it was reported the retail giant was partnering with Microsoft (MSFT 1.22%) to bid on TikTok, the popular Chinese video sharing site that has run afoul of U.S. national security concerns.

So what

President Trump has forbidden American companies from doing business with its parent ByteDance because of the massive amounts of data it quietly collects on its users, which is feared could be used for blackmail, tracking government employees, or corporate espionage.

Woman waving to smartphone

Image source: Getty Images.

Trump has given ByteDance an ultimatum to sell TikTok, and numerous companies have expressed interest in acquiring it. While Walmart was one of them, partnering with Microsoft improves its chances.

Now what

CNBC says a buyer could be announced within a week, with a price valuing the platform between $20 billion and $30 billion. Others have pegged its value at as much as $50 billion. Yesterday, TikTok's president Kevin Mayer resigned from the company, suggesting a deal was close. 

According to Bloomberg, Walmart confirms it is jointly pursuing the app with Microsoft, saying the joint bid would "meet both the expectations of U.S. TikTok users while satisfying the concerns of U.S. government regulators."

Tech giant Oracle (ORCL 0.83%) has also submitted a bid, and while some in the Trump administration favor it over Microsoft, the addition of Walmart could sway opinion the other way. Microsoft's shares were up 3% in late trading.