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Microsoft to buy TikTok as Trump plans to ban operations in US

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Following U.S. President Donald Trump’s announcement that he’ll be banning TikTok from operating in the United States, Microsoft says they will be buying the social media app.

Trump had threatened to ban TikTok over fears that the Chinese government uses it to spy on Americans.

In a blog post, Microsoft (MSFT) said its CEO Satya Nadella has talked with Trump about buying the app, which is owned by Chinese company ByteDance after US policymakers have expressed concerns about the app’s ability to invade users privacy.

“Microsoft is committed to acquiring TikTok subject to a complete security review and providing proper economic benefits to the United States, including the United States Treasury,” the company said, adding that it will “move quickly” to talk with ByteDance “in a matter of weeks.”

“During this process, Microsoft looks forward to continuing dialogue with the United States Government, including with the President,” the company added.

“This new structure would build on the experience TikTok users currently love, while adding world-class security, privacy, and digital safety protections,” Microsoft said.

“The operating model for the service would be built to ensure transparency to users as well as appropriate security oversight by governments in these countries.”

If Microsoft successfully acquires TikTok, it could avert the the presidential ban order of Friday July 31. Trump had threatened he could use emergency economic powers or an executive order to block the app from operating in the United States.

Microsoft’s acquisition will see it own majority shares of TikTok’s parent company ByteDance, and operate TikTok services in the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand and also ensure that all private data of TikTok’s American users would be transferred to and remain in the United States.


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