Microsoft talks with TikTok suspended, further clarifications needed from the White House
The negotiations between Microsoft and ByteDance, the Chinese internet giant that TikTok owns, were at an advanced stage. Both sides would be surprised by the president’s statements about a ban.
Trump fears that ByteDance is passing information on American citizens to the Chinese government through the popular app. The company itself denied it. To reporters Trump said he wants to ban TikTok in the short term by presidential order or an economic emergency law. Previously, Bloomberg News Agency reported that Trump was trying to force Bytedance to sell his American business through an order.
The takeover deal would not be definitively off the table, writes The Wall Street Journal. According to the newspaper, both Microsoft and TikTok are trying to get more information from the White House about the follow-up steps around the app. Several American media reported that ByteDance was willing to sell the entire American part of the company to avert a ban on TikTok.
Trump said to journalists on board the presidential plane Air Force One on Friday: ‘as far as TikTok is concerned, we are going to ban them in the United States’. Trump said he could use a special emergency economic measure or an executive decree for the ban. “I have the authority.”
The US government has been investigating TikTok for some time, where users can place short videos. The United States sees this as a threat to national security because ByteDance collects so much information about American citizens. According to the Americans, this information may be passed on to the Chinese government.