President Donald Trump agreed to give China's ByteDance 45 days to negotiate the sale of TikTok to Microsoft, sources said on Sunday.
Microsoft Corp said on Sunday that it will continue discussions to purchase the popular short video app from Chinese internet giant ByteDance. The president had already threatened to ban TikTok on Saturday, but should now be ready to allow the sale if the app is completely separated from China, reports Axios.
Technology giant Microsoft from Seattle made the statement after a conversation between its CEO Satya Nadella and Trump. It would ensure that all of TikTok's American users' private information is transferred to and remains in the United States.
In recent months, U.S. officials have repeatedly said that TikTok, under its current Chinese parent company, Beijing-based software company ByteDance, poses a national risk due to the personal data it processes. The White House and ByteDance didn't immediately comment on Microsoft's statement on Sunday.
& # 39; Microsoft fully appreciates the importance of addressing the President's concerns. It is committed to acquiring TikTok subject to a full security review and to offer reasonable economic benefits to the United States, including the US Treasury Department, ”Microsoft said in a statement.
The Seattle-based technology giant added that there is no certainty that an agreement could be reached that could be worth billions of dollars, but that the negotiations should be completed by September 15.
ByteDance had previously attempted to hold a minority stake in TikTok's US business, a proposal that the White House had rejected. As part of the new contract proposal, ByteDance would leave the company entirely and Microsoft Corp would acquire TikTok in the United States, sources said on Saturday.
Donald Trump, pictured on Saturday, had threatened to ban TikTok in the United States. Microsoft confirmed on Sunday that it is in talks with Chinese company ByteDance to purchase the U.S. arm of its popular video app TikTok, and has discussed with President Donald Trump its security and censorship concerns about such a takeover
Trump and CEO Satya Nadella, as pictured, have spoken, the company said, and Microsoft was ready to further investigate the purchase of TikTok's U.S. operations after the chat
In a statement on Sunday, Microsoft said: & # 39; After a conversation between Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and President Donald J. Trump, Microsoft is ready to continue the discussions to consider buying TikTok in the U.S.
It adds: & # 39; The two companies have announced their intention to consider a preliminary proposal that would involve the purchase of the TikTok service in the U.S., Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, and would result in Microsoft owning TikTok in them and operates markets.
Microsoft would ensure, among other things, that all private data of the American users of TikTok is transferred to the USA and remains there. Microsoft appreciates the personal commitment of the U.S. government and President Trump as it continues to develop strong security protection for the country. & # 39;
It wasn't immediately clear what Trump's opinion had changed. TikTok's ban would alienate many of its young users prior to the November US presidential election and would likely trigger a wave of legal challenges. Several prominent Republican lawmakers have made statements in the past two days asking Trump to support the sale of TikTok to Microsoft.
Negotiations between ByteDance and Microsoft are overseen by the United States Foreign Investment Committee (CFIUS), a body of the United States government that has the right to block any agreement, sources said, asking anonymity before the White House announcement to have .
Vanessa Pappas, US General Manager at TikTok, said on Saturday: "We don't plan to go anywhere."
Vanessa Pappas, US General Manager at TikTok, said on Saturday: “We don't plan to go anywhere. When it comes to security, we build the safest app because it's the right thing. & # 39;
"We are so proud of all the different communities that call TikTok at home," said Pappas, calling on the millions of users of the app to "stand up for TikTok".
Pappas said the app employs 15,000 people in America and plans to create another 10,000 jobs in the coming years.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Sunday that the president will shortly be taking action against Chinese software companies that are releasing data directly to the Beijing government, putting US national security at risk.
CAN TRUMP TIKTOK BAN?
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had issued government warnings about the social media platform the previous Sunday.
"These Chinese software companies doing business in the United States, be it TikTok or WeChat – there are countless others … that send data directly to the Chinese Communist Party, its national security apparatus," Pompeo told Fox News Channel on Sunday morning Futures. & # 39;
& # 39; Could be their facial recognition patterns. It can be information about where they live, their phone numbers, their friends they are connected to. These are the issues President Trump has clarified that we will take care of, ”said Pompeo.
A federal committee has examined whether Trump could ban TikTok in the United States. Its members agree that TikTok, in its current form, cannot remain in the United States because "it carries the risk of returning information about 100 million Americans," said Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.
"We all agree that there has to be a change … everyone agrees that it can't exist," Mnuchin said in ABC's "This Week" on Sunday.
"President Trump has said" enough "and we will fix it, so he will take action in the coming days to address a wide range of national security threats posed by software related to the Chinese Communist Party," said Pompeo said Sunday Morning Futures on Fox News Channel.
"They are real privacy issues for the American people, and the United States has long said," Well, if we enjoy it or if a company can make money from it, we "I will allow it," said Pompeo on Sunday .
ByteDance said it was ready to sell TikTok's US operations to Microsoft to finalize a deal with the White House, two people familiar with the matter told Reuters on Saturday.
The Microsoft offering was supported by President allies, including Republican Senator Lindsey Graham.
The Senator defended the president's decision on Saturday to take action against the popular video sharing app, which, according to official sources, poses a national security risk due to the personal data it processes.
However, Graham said he advocated an American company that would take over TikTok's US operations, rather than completely ban the app.
& # 39; To fans and users of # TikTok. I understand your concerns. However, President Trump rightly wants to ensure that the Chinese Communist Party does not own TikTok and, above all, all of your private information, ”the senator tweeted.
& # 39; what's the right answer? Let an American company like Microsoft TikTok take over. Win win. Keeps competition alive and data from the hands of the Chinese Communist Party. & # 39;
In a separate interview on Sunday, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, the United States Foreign Investment Committee, which is reviewing the effects of doing foreign business on national security, said the matter was being examined.
In recent months, U.S. officials have repeatedly said that TikTok, under its current Chinese parent company, Beijing-based software company ByteDance, poses a national risk due to the personal data it processes
WHAT IS MICROSOFT PURCHASING FROM THE TIKTOK US ARM?
TikTok's catchy videos and ease of use have made it popular, with tens of millions of users in the U.S. and hundreds of millions worldwide.
The parent company ByteDance acquired the Shanghai-based video app Musical.ly worth $ 1 billion in 2017 and restarted it the following year as TikTok.
In its statement, the $ 1.5 trillion company Microsoft said it could invite other American investors to buy TikTok on a minority basis. Financial terms have not been announced.
ByteDance was worth up to $ 140 billion earlier this year.
Any deal with Microsoft to buy TikTok could be worth billions of dollars. It could also expose the company that already owns Xbox, LinkedIn and Skype to tech-savvy teenagers.
HOW DOES TIKTOK WORK?
- Users post videos of themselves and send them in the app
- Anyone can find these videos and post comments. You can also notify this person privately
- Some of the most popular videos are viewed more than 10 million times
- Each TikTok video is usually 15 to 60 seconds long
- The videos are usually set to music and often show how the user dances, does a trick or synchronizes the lips
The number of American users has been estimated at up to 80 million per month. However, since the company is not publicly traded, the estimate cannot be verified by external analysts.
The platform took the world by storm in 2017, allowing users to create original videos that are shared in the app so that millions can see them.
The move came after Joe Biden's presidential campaign banned employees from using the Chinese video sharing app, citing security and privacy concerns.
In a memo on Monday, Biden's General Counsel Dana Remus ordered employees to delete TikTok from both their personal and business phones and, according to Bloomberg, "not to download and use TikTok".
Earlier this week, TikTok pushed back the so-called "malicious attacks" that draw attention to the Chinese connections of the video app – a coded reference to the investigation.
Kevin Mayer, CEO of TikTok, said the attacks were "disguised as patriotism and designed to end our presence in the United States."
"We are not political, we do not accept political advertising and we have no agenda. Our only goal is to remain a vibrant, dynamic platform that everyone can enjoy," said Mayer.
"TikTok has become the newest target, but we're not the enemy."
As U.S.-China relations deteriorate in terms of trade, Hong Kong autonomy, cyber security, and the spread of the novel corona virus, TikTok has emerged as the focus of the dispute between the world's two largest economies.
Under pressure from the U.S. to give up control of the app, ByteDance has considered a number of options for TikTok that allow users to create short videos with special effects, and has become very popular among U.S. teenagers.
ByteDance acquired the Shanghai-based video app Musical.ly worth $ 1 billion in 2017 and restarted it the following year as TikTok.
ByteDance did not request approval for the takeover by the United States Foreign Investment Committee (CFIUS), which reviews businesses for potential national security risks. Reuters reported last year that CFIUS had initiated an investigation into TikTok.
Earlier this year, Chinese gaming company Beijing Kunlun Tech Co Ltd sold Grindr LLC, a popular gay dating app it bought in 2016, for $ 620 million after it was ordered for sale by CFIUS.
In 2018, CFIUS forced China's Ant Financial to cancel plans to buy MoneyGram International Inc because of concerns about the security of data that could identify U.S. citizens.
ByteDance was worth up to $ 140 billion earlier this year when one of its shareholders, Cheetah Mobile, sold a small stake in a private business, Reuters reported. The Japanese SoftBank Group Corp. is one of the start-up's investors.
The majority of ByteDance’s revenue comes from advertising apps related to its Chinese activities, including Douyin – a Chinese version of TikTok – and the news aggregator app Jinri Toutiao and the video streaming app Xigua and Pipixia, an app for jokes and humorous videos.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Sunday that the president would shortly take action against Chinese software companies that send data directly to the Beijing government, putting US national security at risk
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