Donald Trump 'will ban TikTok' as Microsoft opens talks over buyout

TikTok could be ordered divested from its Chinese parent firm under an order reportedly being prepared by US President Donald TrumpMore

TikTok has some 80 million users in the U.S., and around 1 billion worldwide.

U.S. President Donald Trump said he plans to sign an executive order banning TikTok in the country as soon as Saturday, according to several reporters he spoke with aboard the presidential transport Air Force One on Friday evening. TikTok spokesperson Hilary McQuaide said, "TikTok US user data is stored in the US, with strict controls on employee access".

The popularity of the platform surged after ByteDance acquired US-based app Musical.ly in 2017 and merged it with its own video service.

Under ByteDance's new proposal, Microsoft, which also owns professional social media network LinkedIn, will be in charge of protecting all of TikTok's U.S. user data, the sources said.

It also remains uncertain exactly what Trump's "ban" threat entails, or under what legal argument he'd block a Microsoft acquisition.

Trump has twice previously used this authority to block deals in which tech corporations from China and Singapore were poised to take over US-based companies.

Trump had told reporters earlier that "We're looking at TikTok, we may be banning TikTok". It appears that the US now sees any "big company" from China as a potential threat.

TikTok maintains it doesn't censor videos based on topics sensitive to China and it would not give the Chinese government access to U.S. user data even if asked. "We are looking at a lot of alternatives with respect to TikTok", Trump's voice can be heard saying as Sarah's mouth moves and her hair blows up in the air in the amusing TikTok video, which can be seen below.

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The reports come as President Trump threatens to ban TikTok in the usa, citing suspicions that the company's China-based parent, ByteDance, is sharing user data with the Chinese government.

Paired with the news, TikTok's official US Twitter account released a video on August 1 describing the jobs it brings to the nation, as well as the joy and livelihoods it has provided for millions.

The app is still now in use in the United States, with Trump potentially confirming the ban later on today.

As TikTok grew more popular, USA officials grew more concerned about the potential for the Chinese government to use the app to gain data on US citizens.

The proposed divestment would not necessarily affect TikTok's operations outside the United States, the report said. Chinese law can compel any domestic company to hand over all collected user data. "TikTok is a home for creators and artists to express themselves, their ideas, and connect with people across different backgrounds and we are so proud of the various communities that call TikTok their home".

The company pledged a high level of transparency, including allowing reviews of its algorithms, to assure users and regulators. But that was all about business and professional users, with clear connections back to many of Microsoft's core products. "I applaud the Trump administration for taking this critical step, but we must do more than simply remove ByteDance from the equation", Senator Marco Rubio said.

Federal Labor MP Anthony Byrne, who is deputy chair of the Joint Parliamentary Committee on Intelligence and Security, has been advocating that TikTok be banned as a retaliatory action if the Chinese Government continues to engage in cyber attacks or economic coercion against Australia.

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