On Friday, US President Donald Trump announced his intentions of banning the short-form video platform TikTok “in the coming days”. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo backed up Trump’s decision, stating that the app posed a national security risk.
Now, Microsoft have come out and said they are in talks to buy the app of its Chinese owner, not only in America, but also in Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.
As Trump announces his intentions to ban TikTok in the coming days due to “security concerns”, Microsoft have revealed that they are in talks to purchase the app.
The app is mostly used by TikTokers under the age of 20 and has up to 80 million active monthly users. TikTok was developed by Beijing-based company, ByteDance.
Every single Gen X’er when Trump threatened TikTok: pic.twitter.com/Sb5xVVUCqm
— Farah (@BringHenryHome) August 2, 2020
In an interview with Fox News, Mr Pompeo said the app was “feeding data directly to the Chinese Communist Party”, adding that there are “countless” companies in the U.S. that could potentially be passing on information to the Chinese government. He clarified the data being shared could include addresses, facial recognition patterns, contacts, and phone numbers.
“President Trump has said ‘enough’ and we’re going to fix it,” he described.
What’s the right answer?
Have an American company like Microsoft take over TikTok.
Keeps competition alive and data out of the hands of the Chinese Communist Party.
— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) August 1, 2020
Senator Lindsey Graham wrote on Twitter in response to Mr Pompeo, “What’s the right answer? Have an American company like Microsoft take over TikTok. Win-win. Keeps competition alive and data out of the hands of the Chinese Communist Party”.
Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, confirmed that he had been in conversation with President Trump about purchasing the app from ByteDance.
“Microsoft fully appreciates the importance of addressing the President’s concerns,” a statement from Microsoft read, clarifying that the company would do a “complete security review” of the app before purchase. Apparently negotiations between Microsoft and ByteDance are set to continue until September 15.
However, for the time being, TikTok has told confidently told Trump, no, they are not going anywhere.
A message to the TikTok community. pic.twitter.com/UD3TR2HfEf
— TikTok (@tiktok_us) August 1, 2020
Banning an app like TikTok, which millions of Americans use to communicate with each other, is a danger to free expression and technologically impractical. https://t.co/ZbN7f2TOwF
— ACLU (@ACLU) August 1, 2020