[U.S. President Donald Trump, saying:]: “We’re looking at TikTok, we may be banning TikTok...” President Donald Trump said late Friday (July 31) he would sign an executive order to ban TikTok in the United States, ratcheting up the pressure on the Chinese owner to sell the popular short-video app.
The move would be the culmination of U.S. national security concerns over the safety of the personal data on TikTok, which is handled by Chinese company ByteDance.
Frantic negotiations took place on Friday between the White House, ByteDance and potential buyers of TikTok, including Microsoft.
ByteDance agreed to divest the U.S. operations of TikTok in a bid to save a deal with the White House, two people familiar with the matter said on Saturday (August 1).
Sources told Reuters that under the new proposal, ByteDance would exit completely and Microsoft would take over TikTok in the United States – and be in charge of protecting all U.S. user data.
Neither the White House nor ByteDance responded to a request for comment.
As relations between the United States and China deteriorate, the app has emerged as a flashpoint in the dispute between the world’s two largest economies.
It was not immediately clear what authority Trump had to ban the app, how it would be enforced and what legal challenges it would face.
ByteDance’s concession will test whether Trump’s threat to ban TikTok is a negotiating tactic or whether he is intent on cracking down on a social media app that has up to 80 million daily active users in the United States.
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