Microsoft in talks to acquire TikTok in US after Trump threatens ban

Donald Trump has ordered the Chinese company to sell off its US operation (Pictures: AP/Getty)

Microsoft is planning to acquire TikTok’s US operations after the Trump administration threatened to ban the Chinese-made app.

People familiar with the matter have revealed that Donald Trump gave ByteDance – the Chinese owners of TikTok – 45 days to orchestrate a deal with Microsoft.

US officials said TikTok under its Chinese parent company poses a national risk because of the personal data it handles.

However, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has personally spoken to President Trump about taking over the American arm of TikTok.

‘Microsoft fully appreciates the importance of addressing the President’s concerns. It is committed to acquiring TikTok subject to a complete security review and providing proper economic benefits to the United States, including the United States Treasury,’ the company said in a statement.

‘Microsoft will move quickly to pursue discussions with TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, in a matter of weeks, and in any event completing these discussions no later than September 15, 2020.

‘During this process, Microsoft looks forward to continuing dialogue with the United States Government, including with the President.’

TikTok has become a massive global phenomenon but the US is worried about the security implications (Photo by Phil Barker/Future Publishing via Getty Images)

It’s unclear yet how much Microsoft will pay for the US slice of TikTok but the company added that it ‘may invite other American investors to participate on a minority basis in this purchase.’

Last month, the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told Fox News that TikTok and other ‘Chinese-made’ apps are being scrutinised by the Trump administration.

‘We are taking this very seriously. We are certainly looking at it,’ Pompeo said.

‘With respect to Chinese apps on peoples’ cellphones, the United States will get this one right too.’

When asked if people should download TikTok, the short-form video app that’s hugely popular around the world, Pompeo responded: ‘Only if you want your private information in the hands of the Chinese Communist Party.’


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