New Delhi: Microsoft is in talks with the Chinese tech firm Bytedance to acquire the US operations of its video sharing app TikTok. According to a report by the Wall Street Journal, the tech giant which is being led by Satya Nadella is in advanced talks with TikTok for a deal that could be worth billions of dollars.
“A deal could be completed by Monday, according to people familiar with the matter, and the talks involve representatives from Microsoft, Bytedance and the White House. Talks are fluid, and a deal may not come together,” said the Wall Street Journal reported.
The step is being taken even when the US President has announced plans to ban TikTok in the US due to fears of surveillance by China using the App.
The step is being taken even when the US President has announced plans to ban TikTok in the US due to fears of surveillance by China using the App. Earlier this month, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had also indicated that the US may ban the app.
“We’re looking at TikTok. We may be banning TikTok,” Trump told reporters at the White House. India has banned as many as 106 Chinese apps, including TikTok, a move welcomed by both the administration and the lawmakers. We may be doing some other things. There are a couple of options. But a lot of things are happening, so we’ll see what happens. But we are looking at a lot alternatives with respect to TikTok,” said Trump during a press conference in a report by PTI.
Other US leaders have also shown disapproval for the app and said that it posses a threat to personal privacy.
“In its current form, TikTok represents a potential threat to personal privacy and our national security. I applaud the Trump Administration for taking this critical step, but we must do more than simply remove ByteDance from the equation.
“Moving forward, we must establish a framework of standards that must be met before a high-risk, foreign-based app is allowed to operate on American telecommunications networks and devices,” Rubio said, adding he is preparing legislation to do just that,” said Senator Marco Rubio in the report.
Senators Josh Hawley and Richard Blumenthal sent a letter to Assistant Attorney General John C. Demers calling for the Department of Justice to open an investigation into Zoom and TikTok. They have alleged that the app violates American Civil Liberties.
“As tens of millions of Americans turn to Zoom and TikTok during the COVID-19 pandemic, few know that the privacy of their data and their freedom of expression is under threat due to the relationship of these companies to the Chinese government,” wrote the Senators.