Recently, the Indian Government banned 59 Chinese Apps in the country including Tiktok due to ongoing tensions with China and safety purposes. After this, Donald Trump has also issued a proposal to ban Tiktok in the U.S. for safety purposes but his latest statement also clarified that U.S. Government will be demanding Microsoft pay off the U.S. Treasury to secure the deal. Recently, White House has announced that the U.S. Government will soon ban Tiktok unless the app shifts its ownership to U.S. based company, Microsoft. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has also confirmed that they are setting up a deal with Tiktok to buy the app.
Reasons for Ban
U.S. government has decided to ban Tiktok on charges that the Chinese government can issue orders to the company to send data of U.S. users to them for espionage. Though there is no clarity whether this charge is true o not. Some claim it to be a total theory while some have also referred Tiktok as a threat to the national security of the U.S.
Tiktok has claimed that no data of the users is sent out of U.S. by the app and it is totally safe to use but president Donald Trump seems to already make up his mind to ban the app. After the Indian Government banned the app along with 58 other Chinese apps due to ongoing tensions with China and safety purposes, many countries like U.S. and Australia have also decided to go through the safety policy of the app and ban it if found unsafe. Reportingly, there are 80 million daily active users of Tiktok in the U.S. Thus, safety is actually a major concern for the nation.
Shifting the ownership
Earlier, U.S. President Donal Trump had made a clear decision over banning the app in the country but recently, he has made changes in his statement and said that the app would be banned in the U.S. unless it would shift its ownership to a U.S. based company. Tiktok is owned by a Bejing based company ByteDance. The main theory is that ByteDance can share data of Tiktok users with the Chinese Government whenever asked so.
As a matter of safety concern, President Trump asked ByteDance to sell off Tiktok to U.S. based company Microsoft. Shifting ownership to the U.S. will be automatically eliminating all the safety concerns raised by some of the users and authorities. The White House has also announced the deadline for shifting the ownership of Tiktok to Microsoft which is 15th September. President said that after 15th September, Tiktok would be anyway banned in the U.S.
Deal with Microsoft
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has said that they are framing a deal to be made with Tiktok. As per TechCrunch, Trump has talked to Satya Nadella and reached a new understanding of the deal. The transcript released by TechCrunch makes it clear that Trump is under the impression that the government is required for the facilitation of this deal. The TechCrunch transcript released Trump’s conversation with a media person in which he says that if Tiktok would be bought, Microsoft would be buying it completely 100%. There is no use of buying partial app as the app and the brand are already very popular.
It is not possible that such an app would be owned by two different companies. Trump has also said it clearly that whatever would be the fixed price, it would go to the owner of the company but a substantial portion of the deal will also be coming to the U.S. Treasury as the government is providing them rights and facilitating this deal to make it possible. He also compared it to a landlord and tenant relationship without any lease. This statement made it very clear that the U.S. government is looking a substantial portion of the deal into its treasury.
The President made no elaborate justification related to the legal basis of this payoff or whether Satya Nadella has agreed to this deal. There is no clarity whether it is a fixed deal or not. Also, in an interview on CNN, Peter Navarro, the trade advisor of Trump said that Microsoft might require to sell off its operations in China if it has to buy Tiktok.
Both Trump and Nadella have confirmed the deal with ByteDance but there is no confirmation if Microsoft would pay off U.S. Treasury to secure the deal. Whatever might be the deal between government and Nadella, Trump is sure that he will be banning Tiktok by the 15th of September if a deal does not work well.