Trump Saves Microsoft-TikTok Talks, Buyout May Still Happen

( President Donald Trump reportedly stepped in after it was revealed how American tech company Microsoft was walking out on plans to buy the wildly popular social media platform TikTok. Microsoft announced this week that discussions with Bytedance, the parent company that owns the Chinese app, will continue after intervention from President Donald Trump.

The president reportedly suggested that should an American company purchase TikTok then a ban in the United States would not apply.

On Sunday, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella announced that he had spoken to President Trump on the phone and that the software company is now “Prepared to continue discussions to explore a purchase of TikTok in the United States.”

The Wall Street Journal confirmed that the call was real and that White House officials understand that the president is open to Microsoft purchasing the app and allowing it to continue operating in the United States as long as all security concerns are resolved. That would likely mean ensuring that no data is sent to Chinese servers and that all elements of the app are American owned.

Last week, President Trump had a very different tune. His intention was to ban the app on national security grounds, taking the same action as India. However, Microsoft appears to have assured that president that a deal with Bytedance would involve a total restructuring in which they would own the app in its entirety, allowing it to be operated in other countries like Canada and Australia, without relying on Chinese technology.

Microsoft published an official statement describing how they intend the deal to look.

“This new structure would build on the experience TikTok users currently love while adding world-class security, privacy, and digital safety protections,” the statement reads. “The operating model for the service would be built to ensure transparency to users as well as appropriate security oversight by governments in these countries.”

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

This has been a long time coming. Security concerns relating to Chinese-owned apps have been discussed for years now, and in July of this year, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that the only people who should download TikTok onto their phones should be those who are comfortable with the communist Chinese government having access to their private information.

If the deal goes through, it would mean millions of users across America would no longer be giving the Chinese government access to their data.