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Trump says TikTok must sell U.S. operations by September 15

Following security concerns about Chinese owned parent company ByteDance, President Donald Trump announced he will force TikTok to sell to a U.S. company by September 15 or the social media app will be shuttered in the U.S.

After a discussion with TikTok executives and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, Trump told reporters he has given the company 45 days to secure purchase by a U.S. company before the app is shut down.

The news comes after a contentious two weeks for the viral video sharing platform.

In early July, TikTok came under scrutiny for its user data policy, which top U.S. officials publicly called “worrisome.” While the company released statements that detailed its policy as similar to that of other social media apps, the Trump administration took a hard stance against TikTok due to its Chinese parent company.  After India, big tech companies, and U.S. departments banned the app on company devices, including Wells Fargo and the U.S Department of Justice, Trump took a public stand against the app, telling reporters the U.S. would ban it. While Microsoft is currently most publicly associated with the deal, any U.S.-based company would reportedly fulfill Trump’s terms.

ByteDance confirmed the news that the U.S. Committee on Foreign Investments had pushed for the company’s divestment of TikTok, concluding a national security review that was started in 2019. While ByteDance released a statement disagreeing “with CFIUS’s conclusion,” the company seems to be pushing for alternative options to a complete shutdown.

With the September 15 deadline rapidly approaching, TikTok may be forced to take a less-than-ideal bargain to save its U.S. operations entirely.

Digital Trends has reached out to ByteDance and TikTok for comment and will update this story when we hear back.

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