Microsoft said in a blog post that it was aiming to complete a deal for TikTok's operations in the United States, as well as in Canada, Australia and New Zealand, no later than September 15. Still, if Microsoft does end up buying the app, it "will be a one hundred percent American company", and this ban would be, according to the American Civil Liberties Union, "a danger to free expression". The operating model for TikTok under Microsoft would supposedly be built to ensure transparency to users as well as appropriate security oversight by governments in these territories, adding "world-class security, privacy, and digital safety protections".
Microsoft has confirmed it's looking at acquiring TikTok operations in the U.S. as the app faces a ban from President Donald Trump.
A lot less them Among other measures, Microsoft said it would ensure all private data belonging to TikTok's United States users is transferred to, and remains in, the US.
Reuters reported that Trump has agreed to provided ByteDance with 45 days to discuss on a sale of TikTok to Microsoft. Microsoft cautioned in its statement that there is no certainty a deal will be reached.
Meanwhile, TikTok's parent company had proposed to divest its USA business to Microsoft in a bid to make a deal with the White House.
The statement came after Trump on Friday said that he would ban the app, which is especially popular with young audiences who create and watch its short-form videos, and has an estimated 1 billion users worldwide.
The app has previously censored an US teenager who criticized the Chinese regime's mistreatment of Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang, as well as a Chinese student who mocked Communist China's national anthem. The U.S. will not only ban hardware companies like Huawei, it will also prohibit Chinese software companies. The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, or CFIUS, which which investigates overseas acquisitions of US businesses, previous year opened a review of the Musical.ly purchase.
"The good news is we're getting almost every member of Congress aligned along the administration's policies on China", Pompeo said, adding that "the tide is turning ... not only here in the United States, but all across the world" in recognizing the threat posed by the Chinese Communist Party. In response, ByteDance's venture investors, including Sequoia Capital, urged company founder and Chief Executive Officer Zhang Yiming to head off any US government action by selling a majority stake in TikTok to them, people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg News in July.
The fast-growing app has up to 80 million active monthly users in the USA and the ban would be a major blow for the Chinese firm ByteDance which owns it.
On Friday, he told reporters on Air Force One he planned to ban the app in the United States, due to security concerns over data handling by its Chinese parent company ByteDance.
TikTok insists personal data can not be accessed by Beijing and that it has no ties to the Communist Party. "But the United States should be reimbursed or should be paid a substantial amount of money". "They put a puppet CEO in charge of that company", he told Fox News, referring to former Disney executive Kevin Mayer, who became the CEO of TikTok in May.
The company will stick to globalization despite difficulties including US political suppression and rival Facebook's smear, it said in the statement.
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.
It's unclear under which federal authority Trump is speaking to as the USA government does not take cuts of the deals it approves.