Microsoft confirms plans to buy TikTok despite imminent US ban

Microsoft is in talks to buy social media giant TikTok in the US just days after President Trump threatened to ban the app over security concerns.

Microsoft confirmed yesterday that it was currently in talks with ByteDance, which owns TikTok, to acquires the company’s operations in the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

It said it would conclude talks by September 15 and is reportedly working alongside the US government to hammer out the details.

TikTok is used by around 11 per cent of US adults at least once a week and has been downloaded more than 2 billion times globally as of April.

READ MORE: TikTok launches ‘TikTok For Business’ in direct challenge to Instagram and Snapchat

On Friday Trump threatened to ban TikTok in the US, after repeated allegations that it hands user data to the Chinese government.

Microsoft said that while it “fully appreciates” Trump’s concerns, by acquiring the company it could subject TikTok to a “complete security review” to ensure it had no ties with China.

Despite opposing the deal, Reuters reported that Trump has now given ByteDance and Microsoft 45 days to secure a deal.

“This new structure would build on the experience TikTok users currently love, while adding world-class security, privacy, and digital safety protections,” Microsoft said.

“The operating model for the service would be built to ensure transparency to users as well as appropriate security oversight by governments in these countries.”

TikTok has recently been following in Instagram’s footsteps by positioning itself to offer shopping via its platform.

In June it launched TikTok for business, offering brands and retailers a myriad of marketing tools to create their own adverts and connect with influencers within the app.

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