President Donald Trump has agreed to give China’s ByteDance 45 days to negotiate the sale of TikTok to Microsoft, sources said Sunday.
Microsoft Corp said on Sunday that it would continue discussions to acquire the popular short-video app from Chinese internet giant ByteDance. The president had threatened to ban TikTok as early as Saturday but is now said to be willing to ‘allow’ its sale if the app completely separates from China, Axios reports.
Washington based tech giant Microsoft made the statement following a conversation between its CEO Satya Nadella and Trump. It said it would ensure that all private data of TikTok’s American users is transferred to and remains in the United States.
Over the last several months, US officials have repeatedly said TikTok under its current Chinese parent company, Beijing-based software firm ByteDance, poses a national risk because of the personal data it handles. The White House and ByteDance did not immediately comment on the Microsoft statement Sunday.
‘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.
The Seattle based tech giant added that there was no certainty a deal – which could be worth billions of dollars – would be reached but that it was aiming to conclude the negotiations by September 15.
ByteDance was previously seeking to keep a minority stake in the US business of TikTok, a proposal which the White House had rejected. Under the new proposed deal, ByteDance would exit completely and Microsoft Corp would take over TikTok in the United States, sources said Saturday.