The move marks a shift in Trump’s stance, and the tech giant has prompted Microsoft to announce its interest in completing a social media acquisition, a move that could fuel tension in US-China relations.
Trump said on Friday that he intended to ban the TikTok application, amid fears that its Chinese ownership would pose a threat to national security, due to personal data being processed by the app.
The acquisition of the TikTok app – which boasts of 100 million American users – will provide Microsoft with a rare opportunity to become a major competition for social media giants like Facebook and Snap, noting that it also owns LinkedIn’s social network.
Trump had rejected the idea of selling the app to Microsoft on Friday, but after a discussion between him and the CEO of the company, Satya Nadella, Microsoft said – in a statement on Sunday – that it would continue negotiations to buy TikTok from Beat Dance, and it was aiming to reach an agreement by September 15 /September.
The sources said that this deadline was set for the company Bite Dance and Microsoft, the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, which examines deals involving risks related to national security.
A source said that Trump changed his mind following pressure from some of his advisers and many leaders in the Republican Party.
The application ban would alienate many of its young users before the US presidential election in November, and it would open the door to a wave of judicial appeals.
Several senior Republican members of Congress have issued statements in the past two days, urging Trump to support the sale of TikTok to Microsoft.
The sources – who requested anonymity before a White House statement was issued – said that the US Foreign Investment Commission will oversee negotiations between ByteDance and Microsoft.
The US government’s Foreign Investment Committee has the right to block any agreement.
“It fully appreciates the importance of addressing the president’s concerns. It is committed to acquiring TikTok with a full security review and providing appropriate economic benefits to the United States, including the US Treasury,” Microsoft said in a statement.
In a statement issued on Sunday evening that there was no mention of the TikTok application, Byte Dance said it was facing “complex, difficult-to-imagine difficulties” in moving from local to global.
As relations between the United States and China deteriorated due to trade and Hong Kong issues, cybersecurity, and the emergence of the new Coronavirus, Tik Tok emerged as a new hotbed of tension in the conflict between the world’s two largest economies.
Today’s China Daily called Monday Byte Dance a victim of an American “persecution” and said Washington has not provided evidence to support its claims that TikTok poses a threat to US security.
Under the proposed deal, Microsoft said it would control TikTok’s operations in the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.
It added that it will ensure that all personal data of American users is transferred to the Tik Tok application and that it remains in the United States.
She said she might invite other US investors to take minority stakes in TikTok.
About 70% of Byte Dance investors come from the United States, and it is not clear how much Microsoft might pay for TikTok.
Reuters reported last week that the expectations of the Beat Dance app evaluation exceeded $ 50 billion, although US pressure to liquidate it could cut that price.
Meanwhile, China said on Monday that it firmly opposes any US behavior against Chinese electronic companies, in response to statements by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo saying that Washington will soon move against Chinese companies supplying the Chinese government with data.
China hopes that the United States will desist from its discriminatory policies, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin told reporters on a daily briefing.