Does Amazon Own TikTok? It's Brining the App to Fire TV

Mohit Oberoi, CFA - Author

Nov. 2 2021, Published 10:33 a.m. ET

Amazon has announced that it's bringing the TikTok app to its Fire TV users in the U.S. and Canada. The popular short video app will also be coming to Echo Show devices soon. As a result, many people wonder whether Amazon owns TikTok.

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With a YTD gain of only about 4 percent, Amazon is the worst performing FAANG stock of 2021. The company missed the top-line estimates in the third quarter and also gave lower-than-expected guidance for the fourth quarter, which caused the stock to fall. Amazon stock has been trading on a weak note for most of the year.

Does Amazon own TikTok?

Amazon doesn't own TikTok. While Amazon is a U.S.-based global e-commerce and cloud company, TikTok is owned by Chinese company ByteDance, which was founded by Chinese billionaire Zhang Yiming.

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TikTok has faced controversies in several regions including in the U.S. In 2020, President Donald Trump threatened to ban the video-sharing app. Later, TikTok agreed to partner with Oracle and Walmart, which were to take a 12.5 percent and 7.5 percent stake, respectively, in TikTok Global.

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TikTok and Oracle deal

TikTok selected Oracle as its cloud technology partner in the U.S. The deal between TikTok, Oracle, and Walmart had President Trump’s blessings. However, after Trump left the White House, the deal didn't make much headway.

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Before the deal was announced, Microsoft was seen as the frontrunner in acquiring TikTok’s U.S. operations. The company wanted to diversify its business and also acquired LinkedIn, which now contributes handsomely to its earnings. The company has been pivoting towards industries like AI and cloud, which led to the stock getting rerated. Recently, Microsoft surpassed Apple to become the biggest company by market cap.

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Which companies does Amazon own?

Amazon owns several companies including Whole Foods, GoodReads, Twitch, Audible, and IMDb. The company has stakes in several other businesses. For example, during Rivian’s IPO filings, the electric vehicle startup revealed that Amazon holds a 20 percent stake in the company, while Ford holds another 5 percent.

Amazon and TikTok deal

Amazon is bringing the TikTok app to Fire TV in the U.S. and Canada. Users would need to download the TikTok app from the Fire TV Appstore and then log into the account to view the content.

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Commenting on the move, Daniel Rausch, the vice president of Amazon Entertainment Devices and Services, said, “TikTok is a household staple in our home and I’m thrilled the whole family can now enjoy their favorite TikTok videos together on the best screen in the house with TikTok on Fire TV.” Amazon has entered into an exclusive deal with TikTok for the U.S. and Canada markets. The move comes four months after TikTok launched a Fire TV app in Europe.

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Rausch also said, “We love to pull up TikTok hands-free on our Fire TV Omni Series by just asking, ‘Alexa, play TikTok.’ We can’t wait to hear how our customers are enjoying the latest dance craze or viral trends with their families.”

Amazon might need to take measures to boost its sagging top-line growth. The underperformance of Amazon stock has already cost Jeff Bezos the position as the world’s richest person, a title that he held since 2017.


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