President Trump has said that he approves of a “very American” company purchasing TikTok, the social media app he had previously said the United States would ban for security reasons.
Microsoft confirmed it was in talks to purchase TikTok’s US operations at the weekend, with a 15 September deadline before Trump said he would otherwise ban the app from the US.
Trump went on to say on Monday that the US should receive money, though the channel through which this should happen is unclear.
“A very substantial portion of that price is going to have to come into the Treasury of the United States, because we’re making it possible for this deal to happen,” Mr. Trump said, according to The New York Times.
TikTok is owned by Chinese company ByteDance, who it has been claimed by the US government has the ability to siphon Americans’ data to the Chinese Communist Party. The dynamics at play in this episode are odd, with it appearing like the US government is strong-arming ByteDance into selling TikTok to a US company.
The situation is more nuanced than that but there is no doubt the Trump administration is once again approaching what previously would have been a delicate international situation with a degree of recklessness. TikTok’s fate in the US hangs in the balance, and many young creators are rightly worried that their main avenue of content creation may about to be taken away.