The initial report cited people familiar with the issue and said that Microsoft and ByteDance, the parent company were in ‘advanced talks’ over a potential sale and were ‘caught off guard’ when the President announced his opposition to the deal on Friday.
Trump told reporters that evening that he’d rather prefer to issue a flat ban on the app and wouldn’t support a sale. He had also said he’d ban it via executive order as early as Saturday. According to Reuters, ByteDance agreed to divest its U.S. operations in order to evade the app being banned, which would allow Microsoft to take control over it completely.
One source told The Journal that the President’s opposition to a sale is rather surprising, and another source said that the White House had previously seemed to want TikTok to be ‘American owned.’
The Deal is Still On
The deal is not ‘dead,’ as per the report, but both companies are trying to find more information from the White House regarding the best steps for the app. Trump’s comment followed a month of publicly stating his intentions to ban the app.
Some administration officials, such as the Secretary of State, expressed concerns about the app’s connections to China and the possible sharing of user information with the Chinese Communist Party. TikTok has denied all these accusations.
TikTok’s U.S. General Manager Vanessa Pappas made a one-minute video that was released on Saturday morning in response to the President’s comment about banning the app.
She said: “We’ve heard your outpouring of support and we want to say thank you, we’re not planning on going anywhere. TikTok is a home for creators and artists to express themselves, their ideas, and connect with others across different backgrounds, and we are so proud of all the various communities that call TikTok their home.”