By Rashi Jain-
President Donald J. Trump on Monday at a conference said that the TikTok will be shut down in the United States unless some American company buys it. Pres. Trump last week threatened to ban the Chinese video-sharing app “TikTok” in the US after some concerns were raised it causing national security threats.
Tiktok has around 800 million active users, most of whom are Americans and Indians.
“Tiktok was among those feeding data directly to the Chinese Communist Party and action will be taken by the President with respect to a broad array of national security risks that are represented by software connected to the Chinese Communist Party”: Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo
Microsoft on August 2, issued an official Microsoft blog regarding its discussions on potential TikTok acquisition with the president and TikTok’s parent company ByteDance.
Trump in the conference confirmed that he had a good talk with Microsoft’s Indian-born CEO Satya Nadella regarding Microsoft’s potential TikTok purchase. He called President Trump to see what he thinks about the idea. Donald J. Trump replied –
“It can be controlled for security reasons by China, it’s too big and too invasive. It can’t be… I don’t mind whether it’s Microsoft or somebody else, a big company, very secured company, and a very American company”
Microsoft in its blog mentioned that its proposal for purchase involves the TikTok service in the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand and would result in Microsoft owning and operating Tiktok in these markets.
Concerning this statement, Pres. Trump suggested CEO Satya Nadella and as he mentioned in the conference that – “It’s probably easier to buy the whole thing rather than to buy 30 percent of it. I said how do you do 30%? Who’s going to get the name. The name is hot. The brand is hot. Who’s going to get the name and who is going to get that when it’s owned by two different companies. So, my personal opinion was, you better off buying the whole thing rather than buying 30% of it. I think buying 30% is complicated and I suggested he can go ahead. He can try.”
The blog also mentions that “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.”
Concerning this, Trump mentioned that there would have to be a substantial amount of payment to the US government as part of the deal.
“A very substantial portion of that price is going to have to come into the treasury of the US because we are making it possible for this deal to happen. Right now, they don’t have any rights unless we give it to them. SO, we are going to give them the rights that have to come into. It has to come into this country. It’s a little bit like the landlord-tenant relationship. Without the lease, the tenant has nothing. So they pay what’s called key money or they pay something”
Microsoft assured in its blog that all the private data of TikTok’s American user will be transferred to and will remain in the US if the deal closes.