On Sunday, Microsoft confirmed that they are in talks with Chinese company ByteDance. After the debate on the ongoing discussion if TikTok should be banned in the United States or not, seems like the government plans to bring an alternative option that helps both ends – the app users and the security concerns.
Microsoft is currently discussing the possibilities of such acquisition with President Trump in order to fight concerns related to censorship and security for such an acquisition. A statement was issued by Microsoft where they stated that the company along with ByteDance is in talks to explore a deal. It will soon come up with the possibility of operating TikTok under Microsoft if such an acquisition is successful. With a successful deal and agreement, TikTok will be owned by Microsoft not only in the United States but also in Canada, New Zealand, and Australia. The company revealed that they will come to a conclusion on this by September 15.
Microsoft in talks with Trump for TikTok acquisition
On Friday, Trump had announced that the US will ban TikTok soon. The President then spoke to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and revealed that they are exploring the possibilities of purchasing the app for the US.
A statement given by Satya Nadella records that Microsoft is equally concerned and wants to address what the President is worried about. The company plans to go through a complete security review of the app and provide economic benefits to the country and the treasury.
The White House did not reveal the statement by Microsoft. Previously, there were reports that Microsoft was eager to acquire TikTok’s operation in the US. It is the same app that has become a source of national security and censorship for the Trump government.
On Sunday, Mike Pompeo raised concerns and warnings related to the social media app. He stated that the Chinese software company and many others do business in the US, to feed on the data directly and hand it over to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). Pompeo said that this could be due to the facial recognition patterns, but information about people’s residents, phone numbers, friends they are connected to, have all been acquired by the CCP. He said that President Trump wants these aspects to be taken care of.
What was discussed
Microsoft in their statement said that they might invite other investors to participate on a minority basis for their acquisition. However, the complete financial terms have not been disclosed as yet.
The user data of TikTok is stored in the US and has strict control of employee access. The biggest investors of the app come from the US itself. A TikTok spokesperson reported that they commit to protecting the privacy of users as they work towards bringing joy to people and the people who make their platform successful.
A federal committee has been reviewing if Trump can ban TikTok in the US or not. The members agreed that the app can’t remain in the country in the current form as there is a risk to send back information on 100 million American residents as reported by Steven Mnuchin, the Treasury Secretary. He also said that there has to be a change and everybody agrees with the same.
What TikTok has to say
While speculation grew over the ban or acquisition of TikTok, the brand officially said that they don’t plan to go anywhere. The app allows common people to make interesting videos and that’s what has made it so popular. There are more than 10 million TikTokers in the US and hundreds globally.
The app was launched in 2017 by ByteDance. They also acquired Musical.ly, another similar video service that was popular among teens in the US and Europe. They combined the apps and made a similar service called Douyin exclusively for China.
Currently, the Chinese ownership of TikTok has raised concerns across countries. India was the first one to ban the app along with the 58 other Chinese apps. However, TikTok claims that they don’t censor videos and don’t forward it to the CCP and access personal data.
Pompeo stated that the President will make the right decision for the welfare of the citizens. He will ensure that the people of the country are not at risk. They have started evaluating how to make the best of both; the process has been going on for a few months now. They will soon come to a conclusion. Pompeo said that people will get to know the President’s decision soon.
Along with the debate of TikTok, there are many things going to ensure security in a broader aspect. Chinese companies, including telecom providers like ZTE and Huawei, are also at risk. They can also get banned from selling in the US. The Trump government has asked people to stop buying such products. Trump has tried to steer allies away from such companies due to similar security concerns. However, Huawei has rejected such claims.