Microsoft in talks to buy TikTok's United States operations from ByteDance

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Bloomberg

Credit Bloomberg

The President said he will use emergency economic power or executive order to enforce the banishing of the app from U.S. users.

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

Enterprising Yahoo! News White House correspondent Hunter Walker asked Trump to say goodbye to users of the platform - and Trump did it, shooting a wave as he trudged away from Marine One Friday night.

On July 15, Trump's chief of staff Mark Meadows said, "There are a number of administration officials who are looking at the national security risk as it relates to TikTok, WeChat and other apps that have the potential for national security exposure, specifically as it relates to the gathering of information on American citizens by a foreign adversary".

ByteDance has been considering changes to its corporate structure and had reportedly already been looking into the possibility of selling a majority stake in TikTok.

Yesterday evening, Fox Business Network correspondent Charles Gasparino tweeted, and Bloomberg reported, that Donald Trump plans to order Bytedance to divest from the USA portion of TikTok based on a legal review by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, an agency which appraises whether foreign investments pose a national security threat.

The company's operations in the US have been under review by the secretive Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States.

TikTok allows users to create short videos - often with some basic effects and music - which have become increasingly popular.

For Microsoft, acquiring TikTok might be the long-awaited victory they missed out on after Mark Zuckerberg declined to sell Facebook back in 2007. Bytedance purchased Musical.ly Inc.in 2017 and merged it with TikTok. It appears that the USA now sees any "big company" from China as a potential threat. A twin service, Douyin, is available for Chinese users.

"So we'll see what happens".

With 80 million active users thus far, the move to ban the fast-growing app will surely be a big blow to ByteDance, despite denying claims that it is controlled or shared its data with the Chinese government.

The platform has hundreds of employees in the US and recently hired Kevin Mayer, a former Disney executive, as chief executive, according to the Post.

Under this new deal, Microsoft would be in charge of protecting U.S. -based users' data, and another USA -based company would be allowed to operate TikTok .

These national-security worries parallel a broader US security crackdown on Chinese companies, including telecom providers Huawei and ZTE.

"It looks like ByteDance may be getting squeezed by Beijing, so making them divest makes sense", he said.

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