Donald Trump says U.S. will ban Chinese social media app TikTok

TikTok could be ordered divested from its Chinese parent firm under an order reportedly being prepared by US President Donald TrumpMore

President Donald Trump told reporters aboard Air Force One on Friday that he plans on banning popular social media application TikTok in the US.

Trump as recently as March used executive powers to force a Chinese company to sell its stake in a USA hotel software company, the Washington Post reported.

Microsoft Corp is mulling to acquire Chinese-owned video app TikTok's U.S. operations.

Microsoft is reported to be exploring the possibility of buying TikTok's operations in the United States, even as President Donald Trump vows to ban the wildly popular Chinese video app on security grounds.

The clampdown on Chinese companies by the United States is far from over. Trump indicated that he might use an executive order or invoke emergency powers to effect the ban.

The president said he would sign something as soon as Saturday, without specifying whether he was going to act through an executive order.

Tik Tok's operations in the USA have been under review by the secretive Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States.

Reuters reported on Friday, citing a source familiar with the matter, that Microsoft is in exploratory deal talks as the U.S. government prepares to force China-based ByteDance to divest its video app TikTok over data security concerns.

Earlier this month, a TikTok spokesperson told ABC News that the company is "led by an American CEO, with hundreds of employees and key leaders across safety, security, product, and public policy here in the U.S. We have no higher priority than promoting a safe and secure app experience for our users".

For Microsoft, acquiring TikTok might be the long-awaited victory they missed out on after Mark Zuckerberg declined to sell Facebook back in 2007.

The popularity of the platform surged after ByteDance acquired US-based app Musical.ly in 2017 and merged it with its own video service.

The Chinese video-sharing social networking service hasn't just triggered fear among Republicans.

The continuing row comes as Microsoft Corp could re-energise its advertising business with a huge supply of video as it seeks to acquire TikTok's USA operations from ByteDance. It said it has tens of millions of United States users.

TikTok's fun, goofy videos and ease of use has made it immensely popular, and U.S. tech giants like Facebook and Snapchat see it as a competitive threat.

The platform has hundreds of employees in the US and recently hired Kevin Mayer, a former Disney executive, as chief executive, according to the Post. The development comes as the USA government weighs harsh action against the Chinese app and prepares to force ByteDance to divest its ownership in TikTok over data security concerns.

The app is still now in use in the United States, with Trump potentially confirming the ban later on today.

These national-security worries parallel a broader US security crackdown on Chinese companies, including telecom providers Huawei and ZTE. Trump said he does not support a deal between ByteDance and Microsoft. It has also tried to steer allies away from Huawei because of worries about the Chinese government's access to data, which the companies have denied it has. But in today's episode, Alex Hern, technology editor at the Guardian, explains why - behind the memes and music - there are some real concerns about censorship, privacy and foreign influence. TikTok has pulled their app from Hong Kong's digital marketplace as a result of China's new national security laws.

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