Microsoft has confirmed that it is in advanced talks to purchase the US operations of Chinese-owned TikTok.
A number of US politicians and regulators are concerned that the app’s Chinese owner, ByteDance, poses a risk to national security because it could be used to collect Americans’ personal data. Last week, President Donald Trump told reporters aboard Air Force One: “As far as TikTok is concerned we’re banning them from the United States.”
The social media video-sharing app reportedly has around half a billion active users worldwide – and about 80 million in the US.
Microsoft has said in a blog post that it “fully appreciates the importance” of addressing Trump’s concerns. A full security review of the app will be conducted, the company added.
Microsoft will also have to provide the US government with a list of the “proper economic benefits” to the country.
Microsoft hopes to conclude discussions with ByteDance by September 15th. As well as the US, the tech giant said it was looking to purchase the TikTok service in Canada, Australia and New Zealand, and would operate the app in these markets.
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