On August 2nd, Microsoft announced, “Following a conversation between Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and President Donald J. Trump, Microsoft is prepared to continue discussions to explore a purchase of TikTok in the United States,” on it’s Official Microsoft Blog page.
- This announcement comes after weeks of reports that the Trump Administration was considering a ban on the popular social media application. Last Friday, aboard Air Force One, President Trump doubled down on his commitment to the plan, saying, “As far as TikTok is concerned, we’re banning them from the United States… I will sign the document tomorrow.” Now the President appears to have given his approval for the purchase.
- The Trump Administration’s plan to ban the application came not long after TikTok users mobilized to troll a Trump Rally in Oklahoma back in June.
- Conservative politicians have criticized the application over it’s practice of mining user data and agreed with the President’s actions.
I was among the first to warn of danger posed by TikTok last year.
As I have shared with POTUS & @WhiteHouse if the company & data can be purchased & secured by a trusted U.S. company that would be a positive & acceptable outcome.
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) August 2, 2020
- TikTok’s parent company ByteDance is overseeing the potential sale and other changes. Founder and CEO of ByteDance, Yiming Zhang, stated in an internal memo, “Our team in response has been working around the clock and overtime in the past few weeks to strive for the best outcome,” reported Bloomberg.
- The proposed ban and sale of the application came amidst reports that TikTok mines and shares the data of the user, which raised concerns about sharing personal data with China. Microsoft plans to change that by ensuring, “that all private data of TikTok’s American users is transferred to and remains in the United States. To the extent that any such data is currently stored or backed-up outside the United States, Microsoft would ensure that this data is deleted from servers outside the country after it is transferred.”
- Though the data would be housed on American soil, Microsoft did not speak on whether it would share personal data of TikTok’s users with the U.S. Government.
Microsoft has until September 15th, 2020, to finalize the terms of purchase with ByteDance, including which American investors might join in on the plan. The price of the sale is yet to be determined.