Microsoft has confirmed it will continue discussions regarding the possible purchase of the U.S. operations of TikTok, saying that it wants to complete a deal by September 2020.
In a blog post on Sunday, August 2, the computer giant said that it will continue talking with ByteDance — TikTok’s China-based parent company — after Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella discussed the issue with President Trump.
Trump shocked U.S.-based fans of the popular social media app on Friday when he told reporters aboard Air Force One that he intended to ban the software. But Microsoft’s post on Sunday suggests Trump could be open to a deal between ByteDance and Microsoft, which would ensure the app remained available in the U.S.
With ByteDance based in China, Trump has voiced concerns over the app’s security, with fears that user data could potentially fall into the hands of the Chinese government. ByteDance has always claimed this could never happen.
In its post on Sunday, Microsoft said it “fully appreciates the importance of addressing the president’s concerns,” adding that it is “committed to acquiring TikTok subject to a complete security review and providing proper economic benefits to the United States, including the United States Treasury.”
It continued: “Microsoft will move quickly to pursue discussions with TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, in a matter of weeks, and in any event completing these discussions no later than September 15, 2020.”
Any deal would likely ensure that all private data of TikTok’s American users “is transferred to and remains in the United States,” Microsoft said. “To the extent that any such data is currently stored or backed-up outside the United States, Microsoft would ensure that this data is deleted from servers outside the country after it is transferred.”
The company said that while talks with ByteDance continue, it will keep in close contact with the U.S. government, including with President Trump.