President Trump won't ban TikTok just yet
President Trump will not try to ban TikTok in the U.S. at least for the time being. On Monday, he reversed his stance on the wildly popular video streaming app. He said in a White House press briefing that instead of banning it, he would allow a US-based company to purchase the app. He doesn't mind whether Microsoft or someone else is a big company, a secure company, a very American company, buys it. Trump also warned that TikTok would be out of business in the United States by September 15 if it does not reach a deal to sell by then. Though TikTok, which is owned by the Chinese company ByteDance, is best known as a place where teens share short, often lighthearted musical videos. It has become the center of geopolitical controversy between the U.S. and China over technological power. Though TikTok, which is owned by the Chinese company called ByteDance, is best known as a place where teens share short, often lighthearted musical videos. It has become the center of political controversy between the U.S. and China over technological power.
For months, Trump and other bipartisan politicians have periodically raised concerns about TikTok as a potential national security threat. They were worried that the app's Chinese parent company could censor content in the U.S. or access American users' sensitive data at the behest of the Chinese Communist Party. The company has consistently denied these accusations. Nevertheless, reports last year showed a lack of TikTok content about subjects controversial with the Chinese government, such as videos of the Hong Kong protesters and the movement. These reports have raised U.S. government suspicions that the Chinese government influences the company, particularly as China has been expanding its surveillance state in recent years. US-China diplomatic relations have become more strained.
Over the past few days, TikTok reentered the spotlight when Trump told reporters that he planned to ban the app immediately, saying he would do so using emergency economic powers or executive order. However, getting rid of an app used by some 100 million Americans is not easy, even if you are the president. After Trump's advisers convinced him that an executive action to ban TikTok would face severe legal and political consequences, Trump agreed that instead of issuing a ban. He would allow the tech giant Microsoft to continue its previous talks to buy TikTok, which had reportedly been in the works for weeks?
Could Microsoft potentially save TikTok as a whole, or will TikTok be banned in the U.S.?