Last week, as rumors emerged that Microsoft was looking into buying TikTok, President Trump claimed that he was looking to “ban” the Chinese-owned video app from the US because of concerns regarding how it may allow access to US users’ data.
However, despite these claims made by Trump, there is the question of whether or not he has the authority to enforce a ban like this.
According to the US website Axios, Trump’s TikTok comments may have some effect, as the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. has been reviewing ByteDane’s 2017 acquisition of the US app Musical.ly, which eventually merged with TikTok.
In response to the comments made last week by Trump, TikTok’s owner, ByteDance, has offered to let Microsoft take over the management of US user data.
A TikTok spokesperson commented on this story, saying: “We are committed to protecting our users’ privacy and safety as we continue working to bring joy to families and meaningful careers to those who create on our platform.”
Yesterday, it was reported that Trump confirmed that Microsoft can buy the video app, however, he said that the purchase must be completed by 15 September.
Trump also added that the US Treasury should receive payments as a portion of any potential deal between the app and a US company, however he didn’t state how this process would work.
Following this news, China’s foreign ministry said that it strongly opposed any US actions against Chinese software companies, and it hoped the US would stop such “discriminatory policies”.