President Donald Trump on Monday said that he supported the sale of TikTok to an American company but specified that the United States should get part of the funds.
“I said a very substantial portion of that price is going to have to come into the treasury of the United States because we’re making it possible for this to happen,” Trump said at the White House on Monday. “Right now they don’t have any rights unless we give it to them.”
The president did not specify how much should be paid to the United States but said that it should be “a lot of money.”
Trump spoke about the popular short video app owned by the Chinese company ByteDance after floating the idea of banning it outright.
“It can’t be controlled for security reasons by China, too big, too invasive, and it can’t be,” Trump said. U.S. officials warn that the Chinese government can access user data in the Chinese owned company.
Trump confirmed he spoke to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella about purchasing the company from China and said that he supported the idea if the deal could be reached by September 15.
Trump added that he did not mind if an American company purchased the app, but suggested that it not be split between different companies.
“The name is hot, the brand is hot,” he said. “Who’s going to get the name? How do you do that if it’s owned by two different companies?”
Trump said that by September 15, TikTok would be “out of business in the United States” if an American company did not purchase it.