Skip to main content

Microsoft nears deal to take over TikTok as Trump ban looms

Popular social video app TikTok could be separating further from its parent company ByteDance to allow it to continue to be used in the U.S., according to a report by Reuters.

Chinese company ByteDance had been planning to sell off most of the U.S. business of TikTok but to keep a minority stake. However, the Trump administration recently ordered that the app be removed from Chinese control. President Trump has even threatened to ban the app within the U.S., although the details of the exact mechanisms he could use to do so have not been made clear.

Following the threat of a ban on the app in the U.S., it appears the company has changed its mind. Now, ByteDance reportedly intends to remove itself from the U.S. version of the app completely and has offered to hand over control to Microsoft. Microsoft would therefore be responsible for security and U.S. user data.

However, Microsoft has not yet confirmed whether it will take up this deal. The terms described by ByteDance do reportedly allow for another company to take over this role if Microsoft is not interested. Although even if this deal were to be put in place, the Trump administration may not reverse its position on banning the app.

In recent weeks, growing security concerns have been raised over whether data from the TikTok app could be viewed or held by the Chinese government, as ByteDance is a Chinese company and could be forced to turn over data under Chinese law. A number of companies have banned the use of TikTok on work devices as the app could be considered a security risk, and India recently banned a host of Chinese apps including TikTok, pulling them from the Google Play Store and iOS App Store in India.

‪In a video response to recent events, TikTok U.S. general manager Vanessa Pappas thanked users for their “outpouring of support”‬ and said, ‪”We’re not planning on going anywhere.”‬ She also mentioned the company plans to bring 10,000 jobs to the U.S. over the next three years.

We have reached out to TikTok for confirmation and comment but the company did not immediately respond.

Editors' Recommendations

Georgina Torbet
Georgina is the Digital Trends space writer, covering human space exploration, planetary science, and cosmology. She…
Trump approves Oracle / TikTok deal … in concept
tiktok logos on microsoft logo

President Donald Trump has approved Oracle's proposed deal to acquire the U.S. assets of TikTok, following a phone call with Oracle Chairman Larry Ellison and Walmart CEO Doug McMillon.

"I have given the deal my blessing. If they get it done that’s great. If they don’t, that’s OK too," Trump told reporters on Saturday, Bloomberg reported. "I approved the deal in concept."

Read more
Trump reportedly still wants U.S. government to get paid in proposed TikTok sale
tiktok logo next to trump

President Donald Trump is reportedly still pushing for the U.S. government to receive a payment in Oracle's proposed deal to acquire TikTok.

Trump spoke to Oracle Chairman Larry Ellison and Walmart CEO Doug McMillon on Friday over the phone, while he decides whether to approve the transaction with TikTok's Chinese parent company ByteDance, Bloomberg reported, citing sources familiar with the matter.

Read more
TikTok vows to challenge Trump’s ‘unjust’ ban
tiktok logo

TikTok, in response to President Donald Trump's announcement Friday that the popular video-sharing app will be banned from app stores starting this Sunday, September 20, said it plans to dispute the executive order, calling it "unjust."

"We will continue to challenge the unjust executive order, which was enacted without due process and threatens to deprive the American people and small businesses across the U.S. of a significant platform for both a voice and livelihoods," a TikTok spokesperson said in a statement. "We disagree with the decision from the Commerce Department, and are disappointed that it stands to block new app downloads from Sunday and ban use of the TikTok app in the U.S. from November 12."

Read more