Microsoft chief executive Satya Nadella has described the proposed deal to buy TikTok, under pressure from the Trump White House, as “the strangest thing“.
The plan was to force the sale of the US part of the business over concerns it was a threat to national security.
Ultimately TikTok chose rival Oracle – although that deal also never happened.
In an interview at the Code Conference, Mr Nadella admitted he was “kind of intrigued” when TikTok approached him.
TikTok was “an interesting product” and a good fit for Microsoft because it was a social, cloud-based service that used AI, he said.
President Trump had given a 15 September 2020 deadline for the Chinese-owned app to sell its US business, or be shut down.
The day before that deadline, Microsoft revealed that its offer to buy the company had been rejected.
Mr Nadella revealed a few more details about that time, including;
“President Trump had a particular point of view on what he was trying to get there, and then just dropped off”.
The requirements of the administration “just disappeared”, he added.
The US Department of Commerce said instead it would have continuing reviews of apps designed in “the jurisdiction of a foreign adversary” such as China.