President Donald Trump gave prospective buyers of Chinese-owned video app TikTok’s US operations until Sept. 15 to forge a deal, threatening to otherwise ban the video app in the country.
“It will close down on Sept. 15 unless Microsoft or somebody else is able to buy it, and work out an appropriate deal,” Trump told reporters in the Cabinet Room as he met with US tech workers. “Here’s the deal: I don’t mind whether its Microsoft or somebody else, a big company, a secure company, very American company buy it.”
Trump had previously threatened to shut down the short-form mobile video app, owned by Beijing-based tech company ByteDance, over concerns that it could serve as a trojan horse that would expose American user data to the Chinese government.
Microsoft on Sunday announced it is resuming negotiations to acquire TikTok after the US company’s CEO Satya Nadella spoke with Trump, saying in a statement that it “fully appreciates the importance of addressing the President’s concerns,” and would acquire the company pending a “complete security review.”
The company said it would “move quickly to pursue discussions” with ByteDance, and would complete them no later than Sept. 15, while remaining in dialogue with Trump about the talks.
Microsoft is seeking to buy TikTok’s operations in the US, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, and wants to own and operate the app in those markets.
It vowed to “ensure that all private data of TikTok’s American users is transferred to and remains in the United States,” and data that is currently stored on servers outside the US would be deleted after being transferred from foreign-based servers.
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