Microsoft to continue talks to potentially acquire TikTok's US operations after Trump threatened to ban the app in the US
Microsoft announced in a statement Sunday that it will continue discussions to acquire US operations of the popular video app TikTok. The announcement comes after President Donald Trump told reporters that his administration was looking into banning the Chinese-owned app citing security concerns, sparking widespread concern and panic among creators on the social media platform. The company said in the statement that it is planning to complete talks with TikTok's parent company, ByteDance, by September 15. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.
Microsoft announced Sunday that it was still in talks of potentially acquiring US operations of the video app TikTok. The company said in the statement that it plans to complete these "discussions" with the app's parent company, ByteDance, "no later than September 15, 2020." The announcement comes after President Donald Trump told reporters aboard Air Force One that his administration would ban the Chinese-owned app citing security concerns, sparking widespread concern and panic among creators on the popular social media platform. According to a Friday pool report, Trump asserted he has the "authority" to ban TikTok "with an executive order or that." However, it's unclear what authority he has to ban the app completely in the US. According to the statement, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella spoke with Trump and will continue its pursuit in purchasing TikTok in the US. "Microsoft fully appreciates the importance of addressing the President's concerns," according to the statement. "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." TikTok is owned by internet technology company ByteDance, a Chinese-owned company headquartered in Beijing. "The discussions with ByteDance will build upon a notification made by Microsoft and ByteDance to the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS)," Microsoft wrote in the statement. "The two companies have provided notice of their intent to explore a preliminary proposal that would involve a purchase of the TikTok service in the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand and would result in Microsoft owning and operating TikTok in these markets," the company continued, adding that it may invite other American investors "on a minority basis." With the app's growing prominence, US officials became concerned about the app's ties to China and the foreign government's access to user data and content moderation. If Microsoft were to acquire TikTok in the US, the company said it would "ensure that all private data of TikTok's American users is transferred to and remains in the United States." "To the extent that any such data is currently stored or backed-up outside the United States, Microsoft would ensure that this data is deleted from servers outside the country after it is transferred," the company said in a statement. The company went on to say that discussions are "preliminary," and "there can be no assurance that a transaction which involves Microsoft will proceed."SEE ALSO: Trump told reporters on Air Force One he is banning TikTok from the US Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: Inside London during COVID-19 lockdown
More like this (3)
The remarks suggested the Chinese-owned social media app may be allowed to continue to operate in...The remarks suggested the Chinese-owned social media app may be allowed to continue to operate in the United States after receiving investment from American partners.
The popular video app, which is owned by a Chinese internet company, said it had been...The popular video app, which is owned by a Chinese internet company, said it had been deprived of due process when President Trump moved to block it in the United States.
Trump just issued an executive order barring US companies from doing business with TikTok parent company ByteDance, giving it 45 days to sell the app (MSFT)
s Trump issued an executive order Thursday evening prohibiting US individuals and companies from making "any...s Trump issued an executive order Thursday evening prohibiting US individuals and companies from making "any transactions" with TikTok's parent company ByteDance. The order, which is set to go into effect in 45 days, claims TikTok "continues to threaten the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States." Trump previously said he would ban the app from operating within the US entirely, thought it's unclear what legal authority he has to do that. Microsoft has been in talks with ByteDance to acquire the app, and Trump said this week that he would require any sale to an American company to include a "very big" cut going to the US government. Trump also issued a similar order Thursday concerning transactions with WeChat, which is owned by Chinse internet giant Tencent. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. President Donald Trump issued an executive order Thursday that bans US individuals and companies from doing business with TikTok, which is owned by Chinese-based firm ByteDance, citing national security concerns. The order, which is set to go into effect 45 days from Thursday, prohibits "any transaction by any person, or with respect to any property, subject to the jurisdiction of the United States." It's unclear at this point the extent to which either order is legal or enforceable, and both will likely face challenges in court. Trump also issued a nearly identical order shortly after that targets WeChat, which is owned by Chinese internet giant Tencent, again citing national security concerns. "The spread in the United States of mobile applications developed and owned by companies in [China] continues to threaten the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States," the order said. In the orders, Trump alleges that TikTok and WeChat's data collection practices could "allow the Chinese Communist Party access to Americans' personal and proprietary information — potentially allowing China to track the locations of Federal employees and contractors, build dossiers of personal information for blackmail, and conduct corporate espionage." TikTok did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Other US politicians and government agencies, including Joe Biden's campaign and several military and government agencies have issued bans on usage of TikTok by their staff over similar concerns. However, experts have pointed out that the app collects user data in similar ways to US-based competitors like Facebook. The orders also claim that both apps censor content that the Chinese government considers "politically sensitive," such as content about Hong Kong protests and its treatment of Muslim minority Uyghurs. Trump has ratcheted up his threats against TikTok in particular over the past few weeks, saying he would ban the app entirely if ByteDance didn't sell its stake in TikTok to an American company by September 15. Legal experts told Business Insider's Paige Leskin that actually implementing an outright ban could be tricky, though the Trump administration could pursue workarounds to reach a similar outcome. Microsoft said earlier this month that it was in talks to buy the stake, with the app reportedly being worth between $30 billion and $50 billion. Microsoft declined to comment for this story. Trump also promised to force any acquisition deal involving a US-based company to include a "very big proportion" of the sale price going to the US Treasury Department. The president has the authority under a 1988 law to block foreign business deals pertaining to US companies if he considers the deals to be a national security threat, which he has used twice before to block deals involving firms from China and Singapore that were looking to acquire American companies. Trump, who regularly blames the coronavirus pandemic on China and previously said his TikTok ban was meant to punish the country over its response, has also waged a years-long trade war with the country and previously penalized other Chinese tech companies including Huawei and ZTE.Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: Why thoroughbred horse semen is the world's most expensive liquid