Microsoft is in talks to purchase TikTok’s US business, as confirmed by Microsoft itself in a statement.
The statement posted Sunday that “Following a conversation between Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and President Donald J. Trump, Microsoft is prepared to continue discussions to explore a purchase of TikTok in the United States.”
This came two days after Trump told reporters at the White House ,“We are looking at TikTok. We may be banning TikTok. We are looking at a lot of alternatives with respect to TikTok.”
Then later on Air Force One he went further, saying it was a definite ban.
“As far as TikTok is concerned we’re banning them from the United States,” said @POTUS.— Steve Herman (@W7VOA) August 1, 2020
It appears that Microsoft purchasing TikTok’s US operations from parent company ByteDance is one of the alternatives.
Microsoft addressed the Trump administration’s suspicions of TikTok’s ecurity and connections to the Chinese Communist Party by saying it was “committed to acquiring TikTok subject to a complete security review and providing proper economic benefits to the United States, including the United States Treasury.”
Microsoft said it hoped to complete discussions with ByteDance by 15 September.
Although ByteDance is a Chinese company and owns TikTok, TikTok does not operate in China. If the US would ban the app on security concerns in its current guise, it makes sense that ByteDance would explore a sale in order to profit from the extremely popular platform.
Republican Senator Lindsey Graham even tweeted his approval, suggesting the move is welcomed by the wider government.
A positive development in the #TikTok negotiations. Thank you President Trump for protecting American consumers from the Chinese Communist Party and bringing jobs back to the US. A win-win in the making. https://t.co/JK3G9r02bR— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) August 3, 2020
If TikTok is indeed banned, the US will follow India in banning the service due to security concerns.