Microsoft claimed that is still negotiating with the owners of TikTok over a potential purchase of the social media application, just a few days after United States president Donald Trump announced that he would ban the application in the country.
Through a blog post on Sunday, Microsoft said that its CEO Satya Nadella is in talks with Trump over purchasing the application, that is currently owned by Chinese start-up ByteDance.
Several U.S. policymakers have repeatedly claimed that TikTok poses national security concerns for the U.S., with there being ongoing feuds between them and China.
The company claimed that 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”.
It also added that “During this process, Microsoft looks forward to continuing dialogue with the United States Government, including the President.”
Trump threatened to ban TikTok on Friday night, yet the takeover from the Washington-based firm could mean that TikTok could avoid the ban.
This deal would mean that a new structure for the application would be formed, where Microsoft own and operate TikTok services in the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, also ensuring that American users’ private data would be transferred to and be saved in the U.S.
Microsoft added that “This new structure would build on the experience TikTok users currently love, while adding world-class security, privacy, and digital safety protections”.
TikTok has previously stated that its U.S. user data is stored on servers that are based in the U.S., and that they are then backed up in Singapore, not being subject to Chinese law as some U.S. officials have feared.
Microsoft concluded by stating that talks between them and ByteDance will be finalised by September 15, whether a deal can be reached or not.
Whilst ByteDance did not immediately respond to the post, it did publish a statement on Sunday on Toutiao, the Chinese social media site that it owns.
Through the statement, it said that it “has always been committed to becoming a global company”.
It also claimed that the company is currently “faced with all kinds of complex and unimaginable difficulties,” with there being a “tense international political environment”.
However, it still committed itself “to the vision of globalisation and continue to increase investment in markets around the world, including China, to create value for users around the world,” as well as confirming that they “strictly abide by local laws” and that they will use the rights that were provided to them by law in order to protect the company’s legal rights.
A TikTok spokesperson stated to CNN Business on Saturday that the company is “confident in the long-term success” of the application, hiring almost 1,000 people to its team in the U.S. in 2020, with there also being plans to hire another 10,000 people in the country.
Daniel Ives, a Wedbush Securities analyst, claimed that Tiktok could potentially be the “right partner at the right time” for Microsoft, estimating the application’s value at around $50 billion (€42.54 billion), yet its value would be immensely affected if it was shut down in the U.S.