Trump gave the app’s Chinese owner 45 days to reach a sale agreement.
Microsoft said that it will continue negotiations to buy the popular short video creation app TikTok from Chinese Internet giant ByteDance. Meanwhile, US President Donald Trump has agreed to give ByteDance 45 days to negotiate a sale, two sources familiar with the situation said on Sunday.
Microsoft, which intends to complete negotiations by September 15, released a statement following a conversation between the company’s CEO, Satya Nadella, and Trump. It states that the company will ensure the transfer and storage of all personal data of American TikTok users in the United States.
“Microsoft fully understands the importance of the issues raised by the President. The company is committed to acquiring TikTok subject to full security checks and ensuring proper economic benefits for the US, including the US Treasury Department,” Microsoft said in a statement.
The company noted that there is no certainty that a deal will be reached.
The negotiations between ByteDance and Microsoft will be overseen by the Committee on foreign investment in the United States, a government body with the right to block any agreement, the two sources said.
ByteDance, Microsoft, and the White House have not yet responded to requests for comment.
Earlier on Sunday, Secretary of state Mike Pompeo told Fox News that Trump will take action soon.
“President Trump has said enough is enough, and we intend to fix the situation, so he will take action in the coming days regarding the wide range of national security risks posed by software linked to the Chinese Communist Party,” Pompeo said.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told ABC on Sunday that the Committee on foreign investment in the United States “agreed that TikTok cannot remain in the current format because there is a risk of sending information concerning 100 million Americans.”
Over the weekend, several Republican senators said they supported a plan under which ByteDance would not be related to TikTok’s operations in the US.
Republican Senator John Cornyn tweeted that the asset sale and “purchase by an American company is a mutually beneficial situation.”
Republican Senator Roger Wicker, who heads the Commerce Committee, noted that “strict security measures must be part of any deal to protect consumer data and ensure that there is no foreign access.”
Republican Senator Marco Rubio said in a tweet that “if the company and data can be acquired and protected by a reliable American company, this will be a positive and acceptable outcome.”
Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said on Saturday that the “right answer” to solve the TikTok security problem would be “to get control of TikTok by an American company like Microsoft.”
“A mutually beneficial solution. It preserves competition and deprives the Chinese Communist Party of access to data,” he said.