On Sunday (Aug. 2), Microsoft announced it will continue its intent to acquire popular video platform TikTok from its Chinese parent company ByteDance.
In a statement, Microsoft said the company’s CEO Satya Nadella had spoken with President Donald J. Trump, and “is prepared to continue discussions to explore a purchase of TikTok in the United States.” Over the weekend, President Trump had told reporters he planned to ban the app in the United States.
In response, Microsoft says 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,” and has said it will complete discussions with TikTok parent company ByteDance no later than Sept. 15, 2020.
ByteDance and Microsoft have provided a notice of their intent to explore a preliminary proposal that would involve a purchase of the TikTok service in the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand and would result in Microsoft owning and operating TikTok in these markets.
Microsoft’s statement also says the company “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.”
According to a New York Times report on Monday (Aug. 3), Trump said that Microsoft can move forward to pursue the acquisition. He stated that TikTok would shut down on Sept. 15 unless Microsoft or another company purchased it.
“It can’t be controlled for security reasons by China,” Trump said according to the New York Times report, adding that he was supportive if Microsoft or another “very American” company purchased TikTok instead. “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,” Trump said.
Read Microsoft’s full statement here.
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