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On Friday, President Donald J. Trump expressed a desire to ban a wildly popular app called TikTok from the United States. “As far as TikTok is concerned we’re banning them from the United States,” Trump said of the video-sharing mobile app, adding that he has the authority to do it by executive order as soon as Saturday. The announcement comes after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in early July that the U.S. was considering banning some Chinese social media apps, including TikTok, citing national security concerns. Pompeo said the administration is evaluating TikTok as they did Chinese state-backed tech companies Huawei and ZTE, which he has called “Trojan horses for Chinese intelligence.”
— The Verge (@verge) August 1, 2020
It was also reported Friday that Microsoft was in talks to buy the TikTok from Chinese owner ByteDance, according to a report by CNBC citing “one person close to the situation” who “characterized the talks as having been underway for some time, rather than being brand new.” Trump reportedly downplayed the idea, saying it’s “not the deal that you have been hearing about,” according to Bloomberg.
Donald Trump cast doubt on the idea that TikTok would be sold to an American company https://t.co/DvCr889xAo
— Bloomberg (@business) August 1, 2020
Speaking to NBC News, a TikTok spokesperson said the app has helped to create jobs in the U.S., saying, “We’ve hired nearly 1,000 people to our US team this year alone, and are proud to be hiring another 10,000 employees into great paying jobs across the US.”
The statement also said the company values privacy: “TikTok US user data is stored in the US, with strict controls on employee access. TikTok’s biggest investors come from the US. We are committed to protecting our users’ privacy and safety as we continue working to bring joy to families and meaningful careers to those who create on our platform.”
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