BREAKING: Microsoft says it is ‘prepared to explore purchase of TikTok’ in the US after its CEO spoke to Donald Trump following his total ban threat to app as Mike Pompeo warns personal data of 80 million Americans users could be going to Beijing
- The president had threatened to ban TikTok in the US as early as Saturday
- In a statement Sunday Microsoft said it ‘is prepared to continue discussions to explore a purchase of TikTok in the United States’
- U.S. officials have repeatedly said TikTok – under its current Chinese parent company – poses a national risk because of the personal data it handles
- Microsoft said it ‘will move quickly to pursue discussions with TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, completing these discussions no later than September 15’
The news comes after Trump told reporters onboard Air Force One on Friday that he would issue an order for social media platform TikTok to be banned in the United States as early as Saturday.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Sunday that the president will take action shortly on Chinese software companies that are feeding data directly to the Beijing government, posing a risk to U.S. national security.
‘President Trump has said ‘enough’ and we’re going to fix it and so he will take action in the coming days with respect to a broad array of national security risks that are presented by software connected to the Chinese Communist Party,’ Pompeo said on Fox News Channel’s ‘Sunday Morning Futures.’
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, pictured, has spoken with President Donald J. Trump
In a statement Sunday Microsoft said: ‘Following a conversation between Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and President Donald J. Trump, Microsoft is prepared to continue discussions to explore a purchase of TikTok in the United States.
‘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.’
Over the last several months, U.S. officials have repeatedly said TikTok under its current Chinese parent company, Beijing-based software firm ByteDance, poses a national risk because of the personal data it handles.
‘They’re true privacy issues for the American people and for a long time, a long time the United States just said ‘well goodness if we’re having fun with it, or if a company can make money off of it, we’re going to permit that to happen,’ Pompeo said.
In response, under a recent proposal, ByteDance is willing to divest the U.S. operations of TikTok to Microsoft in a bid to make a deal with the White House, two people familiar with the matter told Reuters on Saturday. That offer has gained some support from allies of the president, including Republican Senator Lindsey Graham.
In a separate interview on Sunday, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, which reviews the national security implications of foreign business deals, is looking at the matter.
Over the last several months, U.S. officials have repeatedly said TikTok under its current Chinese parent company, Beijing-based software firm ByteDance, poses a national risk because of the personal data it handles