Twitter looking at a possible TikTok tie-up

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Twitter has approached TikTok’s Chinese owner ByteDance to express an interest in buying its US operations, according to reports.

Video-sharing platform TikTok has been at the centre of fierce debate in recent weeks and takeover talk.

Last week US Donald Trump ordered firms to stop doing business with TikTok within 45 days over security concerns.

Tech giant Microsoft is the front-runner to buy TikTok but now Twitter has emerged as a possible suitor.

But it remains unclear whether Twitter can afford to buy TikTok from its Chinese owners and can complete a deal within the 45-day window, according to sources quoted in the Wall Street Journal.

The value of TikTok’s US operations are unclear but estimates put it at tens of billions of dollars.

Twitter’s market capitalisation is about $29bn (£22bn), dwarfed by Microsoft’s at more than $1.6tn.

But experts believe a possible Twitter deal would face less regulatory scrutiny than Microsoft’s.

A Twitter spokesman declined to comment on a possible deal while TikTok didn’t respond immediately when contacted by the BBC.