According to the New York Times, Microsoft is reportedly set to acquire TikTok, the social media app owned by China’s ByteDance.
Unnamed sources told the Times discussions were underway with Microsoft and TikTok. The apparent takeover comes as President Donald Trump considers a ban on the social media network in the U.S., citing national security concerns.
Bloomberg corroborated the NYT story, similarly reporting the same. The U.S President may announce on Friday an executive order that will force ByteDance to divest its U.S. operations.
ByteDance acquired Musical.ly Inc. in 2017 and then merged it with TikTok, which has become a viral app in the United States. Federal officials fear the Chinese-owned app could provide the Chinese Communist Party data on American citizens, as users openly provide data to the TikTok.
Update July 31, 8:48PM PDT: CNBC reports President Trump will ban TikTok as early as Saturday, making comments to reporters aboard Air Force One, while flying from Florida back to Washington.
“As far as TikTok is concerned we’re banning them from the United States,” said the President, describing the action a “severance”.
Trump didn’t clarify how the ban would take place, other than saying, “Well, I have that authority. I can do it with an executive order or that.”