(FreedomJournal.org)- Popular social media app TikTok’s days appear to be numbered in the United States, unless a deal can be made with an American company.
After months of speculation, President Donald Trump announced Friday that he decided to ban the app in the U.S. It has come under fire for apparently compromising users’ data. TikTok is currently owned by ByteDance, a Chinese company.
On Sunday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the president “will take action in the coming days with respect to a broad array of national security risks that are presented by software connected to the Chinese Communist Party.”
But all is not lost for TikTok fans in the U.S. Microsoft is currently in negotiations with ByteDance to purchase all its business based in America, Australia, New Zealand and Canada.
On Sunday, Microsoft confirmed it was in talks with ByteDance to make the acquisition, which Trump initially said he opposed. In a blog post, though, Microsoft said its CEO, Satya Nadella, has spoken with Trump about the deal, and hopes talks conclude by September 15.
Republican lawmakers seem to back the plan for Microsoft to purchase TikTok.
Texas Senator John Cornyn tweeted that a ByteDance divestment “and purchase by U.S. company is win-win.”
The chair of the Commerce Committee, Senator Roger Wicker, agreed, adding “tight security measures need to be part of any deal in order to protect consumer data and ensure no foreign access.”
The Trump administration and specifically the Committee on Foreign Investment on the United States “agrees that TikTok cannot stay in the current format because it risks sending back information on 100 million Americans,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Sunday.
He added that congressional leaders “all agree there has to be a change.” Trump has the ability to “either for a sale or the president can block the app using (International Emergency Economic Powers Ac).”
A Reuters report said ByteDance came to an agreement with the White House to divest all of its operations in the U.S. It originally wanted to retain a minority stake in the company, but the White House rejected that idea.
Senator Marco Rubio said he would support the deal “if the company & data can be purchased & secured by a trusted U.S. company that would be a positive & acceptable outcome.”
Microsoft’s former CEO Steve Ballmer told CNBC on Monday that the deal could be a good one for the company.
“Obviously it depends on the price,” he said. “Price is important as well as whatever restrictions come with it from a government perspective, but I think it’s an exciting avenue for Microsoft to really increase its consumer base.”
If Microsoft were to complete the deal, there are concerns about what regulations would be put on TikTok in its new form. After all, there were already major concerns about the app’s security, and people are naturally going to question whether foreign entities would still have access to user data after the deal is completed.