- Microsoft announced in a statement Sunday that it would continue discussions to acquire US operations of the popular video app TikTok.
- Earlier, President Donald Trump told reporters that his administration was looking into banning the Chinese-owned app because of security concerns, sparking panic among creators on the social-media platform.
- Microsoft said in the statement that it was planning to complete talks with TikTok's parent company, ByteDance, by September 15.
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Microsoft on Sunday announced it was still participating in talks to acquire US operations of the video app TikTok.
The company said in the statement that it planned to complete these "discussions" with the app's parent company, ByteDance, by September 15.
The announcement came after President Donald Trump told reporters aboard Air Force One that his administration would ban the Chinese-owned app because of security concerns, sparking panic among creators on the popular social-media platform.
According to a Friday pool report, Trump said he had the authority to ban TikTok "with an executive order or that" - apparently referring to emergency economic powers. It's unclear how exactly he might try to ban the app.
Microsoft's statement said that its CEO, Satya Nadella, spoke with Trump and that the company would continue its pursuit of TikTok.
"Microsoft fully appreciates the importance of addressing the president's concerns," the statement said. "It is committed to acquiring TikTok subject to a complete security review and providing proper economic benefits to the United States, including the United States Treasury."
TikTok is owned by ByteDance, an internet technology company headquartered in Beijing.
"The discussions with ByteDance will build upon a notification made by Microsoft and ByteDance to the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS)," Microsoft said in the statement.
"The two companies have provided notice of their intent to explore a preliminary proposal that would involve a purchase of the TikTok service in the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand and would result in Microsoft owning and operating TikTok in these markets," the company continued, adding that it might invite other American investors "on a minority basis."
With the app's growing prominence, US officials became concerned that the Chinese government might be able to access user data and influence content moderation.
Microsoft said that if it were to acquire TikTok in the US, 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 company said in a statement.
The company went on to say discussions were "preliminary" and "there can be no assurance that a transaction which involves Microsoft will proceed."