Microsoft is indeed in talks to buy TikTok, one of the most popular apps in the world. The social media app, which allows users to create and upload short videos, has come under intense scrutiny lately, particularly in the U.S., as security concerns have been raised over the app's parent company, ByteDance. This comes just days after it was revealed that the Trump administration is looking to ban TikTok in the U.S.
Following the recent news that the White House may ban TikTok, rumors began circulating that Microsoft, a titan of the tech industry, was looking to purchase the app from ByteDance, at least in the U.S. In a blog post shared by the company recently, it was confirmed that Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella recently had a conversation with President Trump. This has prompted the company to continue talks. The blog post reads as follows.
"Microsoft fully appreciates the importance of addressing the President's concerns. It 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. Microsoft will move quickly to pursue discussions with TikTok's parent company, ByteDance, in a matter of weeks, and in any event completing these discussions no later than September 15, 2020. During this process, Microsoft looks forward to continuing dialogue with the United States Government, including with the President."
It has been reported that the White House has given ByteDance 45 days to either sell to Microsoft or face a ban in the U.S. The concerns, from the perspective of the U.S., have to do with user data being sent to China. ByteDance operates out of China. Given the popularity of the app, that has led the administration to take an interest in the situation. There is also a concern that content may be getting censored on TikTok.
As explained in the blog post, Microsoft is looking to buy the rights to TikTok in the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. Microsoft would then operate the app in these countries. Microsoft also assured that the app experience will stay the same for users, they will just be adding security and privacy protections. The company explained that they would transfer data of its American users following the purchase.
"Among other measures, Microsoft would ensure 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."
Microsoft also says that the "may invite other American investors" to participate in the deal. It is cautioned that talks are preliminary at this point. It is possible that talks could fall through. At which point, another buyer could emerge. If not, one of the most popular apps in the world currently will likely no longer be available to Americans. This news comes to us directly from Microsoft.com.