Microsoft moving forward with talks to buy TikTok after conversation with Trump
Microsoft said Sunday it is moving forward with talks to buy TikTok after speaking with President Trump, who has threatened to ban the popular video app in the U.S.
“Microsoft fully appreciates the importance of addressing the President’s concerns. It is 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 in a statement.
Reports emerged Friday that Microsoft was in talks to purchase TikTok from the Beijing-based company ByteDance. The same day, Trump said he plans to ban the social media platform from operating in the U.S.
Trump’s threat to ban the app came after weeks of administration officials floating the idea of taking action against the app due to its connection to China and potential security concerns. Spokespeople for the app have denied allegations about its handling of user data amid criticism from the Trump administration and other U.S. lawmakers.
Microsoft said it will “move quickly to pursue discussions” with ByteDance. The company said it is looking to complete discussion no later than Sept 15. The company noted that the discussions are preliminary and there is no assurance that a transaction will proceed.
As discussions move forward, Microsoft said it plans to continue a dialogue with the U.S. government, including Trump.
Microsoft said it plans to build on the “experience TikTok users currently love, while adding world-class security, privacy, and digital safety protections.”
“Among other measures, Microsoft would ensure that all private data of TikTok’s American users is transferred to and remains in the United States. To the extent that any such data is currently stored or backed-up outside the United States, Microsoft would ensure that this data is deleted from servers outside the country after it is transferred,” Microsoft said in its statement.
Microsoft said it does not plan to provide further updates until there is a “definitive outcome to our discussion.”
A spokesperson for ByteDance was not immediately available for comment.
TikTok on Friday fired back at Trump after the president announced he plans to ban the popular video app in the U.S. A spokesperson for the app denied criticism that its Chinese owner shared user information with Beijing.
“TikTok US user data is stored in the US, with strict controls on employee access. TikTok’s biggest investors come from the US. We are committed to protecting our users’ privacy and safety as we continue working to bring joy to families and meaningful careers to those who create on our platform,” the spokesperson said.