Donald Trump has agreed to the potential sale of TikTok to Microsoft and said the US government should get a ‘substantial’ cut of the deal.
The president also said that if a sale to a US company wasn’t approved by September 15, the social media app would be banned.
TikTok, the short-form video app, has taken the world by storm. But the US government is concerned about national security implications because the app is owned and run by a Chinese company called ByteDance.
Trump’s administration has accused the app of providing personal data to the Chinese government – something both Bejing and ByteDance deny.
Earlier this week it emerged that Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella had spoken to President Trump about acquiring the US operations of TikTok which would allow it to continue operation.
And now Trump says that any deal should include a cut paid to the US Treasury.
‘The United States should get a very large percentage of that price, because we’re making it possible,’ Mr Trump said.
‘It would come from the sale, which nobody else would be thinking about but me, but that’s the way I think, and I think it’s very fair.’
Microsoft put out a statement saying it was looking into buying TikTok after Trump’s comments.
‘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,’ the company said.
‘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.’
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