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Trump: TikTok Will Be "Out Of Business" Unless Microsoft "Or Somebody Else" Buys It

The announcement came several days after the president threatened to ban the China-based social platform nationally.

President Trump and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella | Getty Images
President Trump and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella | Getty Images

One day after Microsoft said that it would continue pursuing the purchase of TikTok in the U.S. after its CEO talked with the president, Trump stood by his threat to ban the short-form video app nationwide — unless Microsoft “or somebody else” buys it by September 15.

“Here’s the deal. I don’t mind if, whether it’s Microsoft or somebody else, a big company, a secure company, a very, very American company, buy it, it’s probably easier to buy the whole thing than to buy 30% of it,” Trump said Monday during a briefing at the White House. “We set a date — I set a date — of around September 15 at which point it’s gonna be out of business in the U.S., but if somebody, and whether it’s Microsoft or somebody else, buys it, that'll be interesting.”

Trump went on to say: “It’ll close down on September 15 unless Microsoft or somebody else is able to buy it and work out a deal, an appropriate deal, so the treasury of the — really The Treasury I guess you would say, of the United States — gets a lot of money, a lot of money."

In a Sunday announcement, Microsoft said it was “committed to acquiring TikTok subject to a complete security review and providing proper economic benefits to the United States, including the United States Treasury.” The trillion-dollar American tech company said it would complete discussions with TikTok’s Beijing-based parent company, ByteDance, by September 15.

The company’s statement came after weeks of uncertainty over the fate of TikTok in the U.S.

Microsoft said it would “ensure that all private data of TikTok’s American users is transferred to and remains in the United States.” 

“To the extent that any such data is currently stored or backed-up outside the United States, Microsoft would ensure that this data is deleted from servers outside the country after it is transferred,” the statement continued.

On Friday, Trump told reporters aboard Air Force One, “As far as TikTok is concerned, we’re banning them from the United States.” He added that the ban would take place “essentially immediately” without providing further details. The president made similar threats to ban the app in early July as he sought to retaliate against China over its handling of the coronavirus.

U.S. authorities have said they’re concerned that TikTok could be forced to hand over data about American users to the Chinese Communist Party.

On Monday, White House economic adviser Peter Navarro doubled down on his criticism of TikTik during a CNN interview, stating, “It’s about 10 a.m. [and] the Chinese communist party may know where your children are.”  

Microsoft had already been in talks about acquiring TikTok that it reportedly put on hold after Trump suggested the ban. 
TikTok, which has been downloaded 180M+ times in the U.S., has said it has never received requests from Chinese authorities to review U.S. user data and would deny any requests of that nature. 

Microsoft said it’s looking into acquiring Canada, Australia, and New Zealand’s TikTok services  in addition to the United States’ services. 

Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Marco Rubio  (R-FL) tweeted in support of TikTok being acquired by a U.S. company.