Donald Trump news: US President gives go-ahead to Microsoft for TikTok acquisition | World | News
Mr Trump made the turnaround on the Chinese social media app at a White House press briefing. It comes after he previously announced he was considering banning the app over security concerns. Bytedance, who currently own the app, have repeatedly denied any links to the Chinese Communist Party.
Mr Trump said that TikTok would be banned from the US unless an American company purchased the app.
But the president also claimed that he had given Microsoft’s chief executive Satya Narayana Nadella the “go-ahead” to purchase TikTok.
Mr Trump then said the app “can’t be controlled for security reasons by China” while still operating in the US, as it would be “too invasive”.
He added: “I don’t mind if — whether it’s Microsoft or somebody else — a big company, a secure company, very — a very American company buy it. “
READ MORE: TikTok ban: Microsoft holds secret talks with Donald Trump over social media app takeover
Mr Trump added that buying TikTok would funnel huge amounts of money to China.
As a result, the president claimed the US Treasury should receive payment from the purchase.
Mr Trump added: “A very substantial portion of that price is going to have to come into the Treasury of the United States because we’re making it possible for this deal to happen.
“Right now, they don’t have any rights, unless we give it to them. So if we’re going to give them the rights, then it has to come into — it has to come into this country.”
Despite Mr Trump’s blessing, members of his administration have argued against the sale.
Trade Adviser Peter Navarro hit out at Microsoft for enabling Chinese censorship and surveillance through products like Skype and its search engine Bing.
He added Microsoft is “not a white-hat company”.
Mr Navarro also said on Saturday that Microsoft made “the software that the People’s Liberation Army and Chinese government run on”.
TikTok executives have insisted it takes no direction on data handling and operations from ByteDance.
It also said in an optimistic statement it was “committed to continuing to bring joy to families and meaningful careers to those who create on our platform as we build TikTok for the long term.
It added: “TikTok will be here for many years to come.”