Donald Trump gives Microsoft over a month to reach deal to acquire TikTok
Trump changed his mind about banning the Chinese app after his advisers expressed concerns that the decision would turn away young voters.
United States President Donald Trump on Sunday gave Microsoft 45 days to reach a deal to acquire Chinese video-sharing platform TikTok, Reuters reported.
Microsoft, after a conservation between Chief Executive Officer Satya Nadella and Trump, said on Sunday that it will continue negotiations with ByteDance to acquire the video app and reach a deal by September 15. On Friday, however, Trump had brushed-off the idea of TikTok’s sale to Microsoft.
The tech giant said that its acquisition of the Chinese app will be subject to a complete security review and submission of “proper economic benefits to the US”, according to PTI.
Trump had on Friday said that he will ban TikTok as American authorities had raised concerns that it could be used by Chinese intelligence. Unidentified officials told Reuters that Trump changed his decision after his advisers expressed concerns that banning TikTok would turn away young voters ahead of the US presidential elections in November and may also create legal challenges.
The relations between US and China have become increasingly strained amid the coronavirus pandemic, with Trump repeatedly blaming the country for the uncontrollable spread of the disease. US has also criticised China over its new security laws in Hong Kong. Earlier this month, Trump had signed an order to end special trade preferences for Hong Kong to punish China for its “oppressive actions”.
In July, the US government has also closed the Chinese consulate in Houston over allegations of espionage and unethical practices.
Chinese apps were also banned in India in the aftermath of the Galwan Valley clash, in which 20 Indian soldiers were killed. The deaths of Indian soldiers had sparked calls for the boycott of Chinese goods and business. In June, the Centre banned 59 Chinese apps citing threat to national security and sovereignty. Last week, 47 applications, which were clones of the banned apps, were also blocked. China had called India’s move to ban the mobile apps a violation of World Trade Organization rules.