After a life full of political flak and negative media attention, the Chinese-based company ByteDance could finally give up ownership of TikTok in the United States. This afternoon, Fox has Business Network correspondent Charles Gasparino tweetedand Bloomberg reportedthat Donald Trump plans to order Bytedance to part with the U.S. part of TikTok, based on a legal review by the United States’ Foreign Investment Committee, an agency that checks whether foreign investments pose a national security threat . Gasparino added and the New York Times reportedthat a company is in talks to buy TikTok Microsoft.
Total ByteDance is reportedly rated at $ 100 billion.
A TikTok spokesman told Gizmodo that they “are not commenting on rumors or speculation,” but “are confident that TikTok will be successful in the long term.”
They added that TikTok is “Committed to protection [the] Privacy and Security ”by hundreds of millions of users, some of whom have built careers on the platform.
If you haven’t followed the TikTok drama, it may seem strange for a company to acknowledge its privacy and security commitment as part of a speculative sale. However, the future of TikTok in the U.S. depends on its ability to change the perception of the app’s legislator as a national security threat and data funnel for China, where the parent company ByteDance is headquartered. (This was not confirmed, but it was high probably, examined, allegedlyand is possible under the rule of the Chinese Communist Party.)
In this case, lawmakers don’t get their heads on the record they were hoping for; Trump and members of the administration have floated repeatedly the idea of banning the app altogether, and Trump again today told reporters that “We’re looking at TikTok. We may ban TikTok. Gasparino also tweeted that “sources” say the White House is “very concerned” about the possibility that ByteDance could retain any part of US TikTok. Earlier this month, The Information reported ByteDance considered selling most of its shares in TikTok to existing ByteDance investors and keeping a minority stake.
There have been further rumors in recent months about plans to restructure and distance China. The BBC reported that ByteDance was in talks with the UK government to move its headquarters to London. Shortly after the house decided to ban TikTok from government-issued phones this month, TikTok announcedPerhaps as a political offer to create 100,000 new jobs in the US economy.
For Microsoft, the takeover of TikTok could be the long-awaited victory they missed after Mark Zuckerberg declined Facebook for sale in 2007.
Gizmodo couldn’t reach Microsoft for comment, but we’ll update this post as soon as we hear.