President Trump on Friday said he will ban the popular Chinese-owned video app TikTok from the United States, either via executive order or another method, such as a designation. But its loyal users may not have too much to fear in the long run — Trump's threat may be a "negotiation tactic" to make sure the app is sold to a U.S. company and completely severs ties with China.
Sources tell @KurtWagner8 and me they believe Trump’s pledge to ban Tiktok is *negotiation tactic.* He’s pressuring TikTok owner into selling 100% to a US company/fully disentangling from Chinese—which they haven’t yet agreed to. Transfer details big issue for @stevenmnuchin1.
— Jennifer Jacobs (@JenniferJJacobs) August 1, 2020
As Tiktok, which is owned by Chinese parent company ByteDance, has increased in popularity, the Trump administration has increasingly scrutinized the app, which appears to be a result of heightened tensions between Washington and Beijing. Earlier in July, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the U.S. was looking into banning the app because of national security concerns.
In response to Trump's most recent announcement, a Tiktok spokesperson told NBC News the company has created jobs in the U.S. and is committed to protecting users' privacy. Meanwhile, Microsoft has reportedly been working to buy TikTok from its Chinese parent company, ByteDance, for some time. Trump reportedly said he wasn't a fan of the idea, but if Bloomberg's sources are right, that could just be another part of the strategy.
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