This site uses cookies to improve your experience and to provide services and advertising. By continuing to browse, you agree to the use of cookies described in our Cookies Policy. You may change your settings at any time but this may impact on the functionality of the site. To learn more see our Cookies Policy.
OK
#Open journalism No news is bad news

Your contributions will help us continue to deliver the stories that are important to you

Support The Journal
Dublin: 12 °C Saturday 8 August, 2020
Advertisement

Microsoft reportedly in advanced talks to buy US TikTok operation

The reports emerged as US President Donald Trump said he would ban the Chinese-owned app in the US.

Image: Shutterstock/Primakov

MICROSOFT IS IN advanced talks to buy the US operations of TikTok – the popular Chinese-owned video app that has been a source of national security and censorship concerns, according to reports.

The potential deal would be a victory for both companies, making Microsoft a major player in the social media arena and providing relief to TikTok and its parent company Bytedance, a target of President Donald Trump.

President Trump said on Friday that he would take action as soon as Saturday to ban TikTok in the United States. His comments aboard Air Force One came after published reports that the administration is planning to order China’s ByteDance to sell TikTok.

“As far as TikTok is concerned, we’re banning them from the United States,” President Trump told reporters on Air Force One as he returned from Florida.

The president said he could use emergency economic powers or an executive order to enforce the action, insisting, “I have that authority.”

He added: “It’s going to be signed tomorrow.”

Microsoft declined to comment.

Reports by Bloomberg News and the Wall Street Journal citing anonymous sources said the administration could soon announce a decision ordering ByteDance to divest its ownership in TikTok.

There have been reports of US tech giants and financial firms being interested in buying or investing in TikTok as the Trump administration sets its sights on the app.

The New York Times and Fox Business, citing an unidentified source, first reported on Friday that Microsoft is in talks to buy TikTok.

#Open journalism No news is bad news Support The Journal

Your contributions will help us continue to deliver the stories that are important to you

Support us now

TikTok issued a statement on Friday saying that, “While we do not comment on rumours or speculation, we are confident in the long-term success of TikTok.”

On Saturday, it posted a short video from its US general manager Vanessa Pappas, saying that “We’re not planning on going anywhere”.

ByteDance launched TikTok in 2017, then bought Musical.ly, a video service popular with teens in the US and Europe, and combined the two. A twin service, Douyin, is available for Chinese users.

TikTok’s fun, goofy videos and ease of use has made it immensely popular, and US tech giants like Facebook and Snapchat see it as a competitive threat. It has said it has tens of millions of US users and hundreds of millions globally.

But its Chinese ownership has raised concerns about the censorship of videos, including those critical of the Chinese government, and the potential for sharing user data with Chinese officials.

  • Share on Facebook
  • Email this article
  •  

About the author:

Press Association

Read next:

COMMENTS (26)

This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
write a comment

    Leave a commentcancel