TikTok ban: Trump offered last-minute deal by Chinese company as US ban looms
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This offer comes following US President Donald Trump’s announcement of his plans to block the app as soon as Saturday. The Chinese company behind the social media phenomenon is called ByteDance. The company is enormously popular in the United States with more than 80 million daily active users.
However, there have been growing fears the company could become a front for Chinese spying efforts.
Under the new terms of the offer, ByteDance said it would completely divest itself from the US operations of the app, Reuters reports.
The offer is a concession for the company, which had previously hoped to keep a minority stake in local TikTok operations.
Under the new deal, the company would exit completely and turn over 100 per cent control of the app’s US wing to Microsoft.
It is believed that the deal is also allowing for some ByteDance investors the opportunity to retain minority shareholders of the new business.
However, this still remains unclear.
So far the White House has been cool to the idea.
President Trump has spoken to reporters on Air Force One and said he was intent on banning the service and was in no mood to negotiate on the issue.
President Trump said: “Not the deal that you have been hearing about, that they are going to buy and sell.”
“We are not an M&A [mergers and acquisitions] country.”
“As far as TikTok is concerned, we’re banning them from the United States.”
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TikTok has been under particular scrutiny over data and privacy issues, even though tech giants like Facebook, Amazon and Google have had similar concerns.
Many in the Trump administration, as well as independent experts, are concerned the company cannot reliably protect US user data.
The fear appears to be that US citizens data could be in the hands of China’s Communist government.
Due to deteriorating relations between the two nations, India has already banned TikTok as a form of retaliation.
China, for their part, has long banned US social media companies, including Facebook and Twitter.
Balaji S. Srinivasan, a tech investor says: “I don’t think TikTok is ‘uniquely dangerous’, but it is a Chinese app with tens of millions of US users so it stands out in that regard.”
“The logic of banning them may well be extended to other [Chinese] apps like WeChat.”
Although deal-making is going on, TikTok has still struck a tone within the public.
The company’s US General Manager Vanessa Pappas delivered a statement to users saying they were prepared to dig in.
Pappas said: “We’re not planning on going anywhere.”
“TikTok is a home for creators and artists to express themselves, their ideas, and connect with others across different backgrounds and we are so proud of all the various communities that call TikTok their home.”
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