Microsoft has released a statement on its corporate blog confirming that it is in talks of purchasing ByteDance’s popular video app Tiktok in the United States. The company added that they are committed to the acquisition of the app subject to a complete security review and providing proper economic benefits to the United States, including the United States Treasury.
“Following a conversation between Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and President Donald Trump, Microsoft is prepared to continue discussions to explore a purchase of TikTok in the United States,” wrote the company in the statement. “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.”
Prior to this, the US government is considering banning the wildly popular TikTok platform over privacy concerns with the Chinese-made app. Given its parent company’s supposedly close links with the Chinese government, US lawmakers are fearful that ByteDance may one day be forced to hand over its accumulated data and other information – especially those concerning US citizens – to Chinese authorities.
The company said that further discussion with ByteDance about the acquisition would be completed no later than 15 September 2020. During this period, Microsoft would also remain in talks with the US government and President Trump. Additionally, the statement mentioned that the company may invite other “American investors” to participate on a minority basis as well.
If Microsoft’s purchase of TikTok is successful, it will take over the app’s operations in the US, Canada, Australia, and even New Zealand. The company also ensures that all private data of TikTok’s American users is transferred to and remains in the United States.
“To the extent that any such data is currently stored or backed-up outside the United States, Microsoft would ensure that this data is deleted from servers outside the country after it is transferred,” the company stated.
(Source: Microsoft Corporate Blog)