Microsoft confirms that it’s in talks to buy TikTok in the US

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Just a couple of days after rumors about Microsoft buying TikTok in the US began swirling, the Redmond-based company has confirmed that discussions are happening.

Microsoft said today that it’s “prepared to continue discussions to explore a purchase of TikTok in the United States.” The company also revealed that Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has had a conversation with President Trump regarding TikTok, adding that it “appreciates the importance of addressing the President’s concerns.”

Microsoft and TikTok owner ByteDance plan to move these discussions along quickly and aim to complete them by September 15, 2020. Microsoft says it’ll keep talking with the US government and President Trump while these negotiations are happening, too.

The preliminary proposal for a deal between ByteDance and Microsoft would see the latter company purchasing the TikTok service in the US, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. This means Microsoft would own and operate TikTok in these markets. 

If it does purchase TikTok, Microsoft says it’ll build on the current experience TikTok users love while adding security, privacy, and digital safety protections. Microsoft adds that it’ll make sure that all private data of TikTok users in the US is transferred to and remains in the US. Any data stored or backed up outside the US will be deleted from servers outside the country after being transferred.

President Trump has threatened to ban TikTok in the US, with reports saying that the US government is concerned about national security with regard to the popular app. TikTok is owned by ByteDance, a company based in China, and it’s said that the US government is concerned that the Chinese government could use TikTok to gather data on US citizens.

Trump recently said that he was not in favor of a deal that would let a US company buy TikTok’s US business, but now it sounds like Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella may have been able to convince Trump to let a deal happen.

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