Microsoft is negotiating the purchase of short video service TikTok despite President Trump’s threat to ban TikTok in the U.S.
Clare Duffy reported the news for CNN:
Microsoft says it is still discussing a potential purchase of TikTok, days after President Donald Trump said he would ban the popular short-form video app from operating in the United States.
In a blog post Sunday, Microsoft (MSFT) said its CEO Satya Nadella has talked with Trump about buying the app, which is owned by Chinese start-up ByteDance. US policymakers have for weeks expressed concerns about the app as tensions between the United States and China escalate, with many asserting that it could pose a national security risk.
CNBC’s Jordan Novet wrote:
Microsoft said in a statement that it will keep working with the U.S. government on a deal and that it intends to conclude talks by September 15.
If it were to complete the deal, Microsoft could simultaneously resolve a recent controversy in Washington and gain power in consumer technology.
The statement comes two days after media outlets including CNBC reported that Microsoft was interested in acquiring the app, which is owned by Chinese company ByteDance. Soon after the reports emerged, President Trump said that he opposed the idea of Microsoft buying TikTok and that he would move to ban the app in the U.S.
Reuters’ Greg Roumeliotis, Echo Wang and Matt Spetalnick noted:
President Donald Trump only agreed to allow Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O) to negotiate the acquisition of popular short-video app TikTok if it could secure a deal in 45 days, three people familiar with the matter said on Sunday.
The move represents an about-face for Trump and prompted the U.S. tech giant to declare its interest in the blockbuster social media deal that could further inflame U.S.-China relations. Trump said on Friday he was planning to ban TikTok amid concerns that its Chinese ownership represents a national security risk because of the personal data it handles.