President Donald Trump on Sunday backed down on his plan to ban the popular short video app TikTok, allowing Microsoft 45 days to negotiate a purchase of the platform.
As Breitbart News reported, Trump said Friday night on Air Force One he was prepared to ban TikTok — currently owned by Chinese technology company ByteDance, something he has floated before.
President Donald Trump on Tuesday confirmed that his administration is looking at banning the Chinese-owned social media app TikTok. https://t.co/4hTU9yjJBa
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) July 7, 2020
Chinese ownership raises concerns the Chinese government has access to sensitive user data. Trump also said he did not support the idea of an American company purchasing the app, preferring to ban it outright.
But Microsoft appears to have softened Trump’s opposition, announcing Sunday it would continue talks to acquire the app from ByteDance, which could conclude by September 15. Reuters reported Trump agreed to give Microsoft 45 days to cut a deal.
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella spoke with Trump about the possible deal, according to the company, that would make the app safer to use in the United States.
“Microsoft appreciates the U.S. Government’s and President Trump’s personal involvement as it continues to develop strong security protections for the country,” Microsoft said in their statement.
Trump’s decision was welcomed by Sen. Lindsey Graham as a “win-win” for the administration.
A positive development in the #TikTok negotiations.
Thank you President Trump for protecting American consumers from the Chinese Communist Party and bringing jobs back to the US.
A win-win in the making. https://t.co/JK3G9r02bR
— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) August 3, 2020
TikTok’s parent company ByteDance, has furiously worked against a possible ban in recent weeks, enlisting more than 35 lobbyists to advocate for them in Washington, DC, and even hiring former Disney executive Kevin Mayer as their CEO in an effort to alleviate concerns about their company.
But the Chinese ownership of the app continues to raise concerns in other major countries.