TikTok’s future is uncertain as the Trump administration continues to explore banning the app. As an alternative to an outright ban, it’s rumored that the government might instead order TikTok owner, ByteDance Ltd., to divest the social media network’s US operations. According to Bloomberg, sources familiar with the matter state that Microsoft may buy TikTok if its US assets come on the market.
Despite TikTok’s denial that any user data is sent or stored in China, many remain skeptical. As the social network has risen in popularity, it’s come under more scrutiny from security experts. However, banning TikTok outright may not be necessary if the company’s Chinese-based management chooses to sell its US operations to an American company.
Is Microsoft buying TikTok?
If a company were to purchase the US branch of TikTok, it would likely be a deal subject to heavy scrutiny. Microsoft is one of the most trusted names in tech, and has remained American-owned since its inception. Bloomberg didn’t reveal its source, so we don’t know how plausible the claim that Microsoft will buy TikTok is.
Why does the US want to ban TikTok?
Plenty of apps and websites gather a ton of user data, so why is TikTok doing it an issue? Well, the situation is complex. There’s plenty of controversy around Google and Facebook’s collection of user data. However, these are US companies, and this is seen as an internal issue.
TikTok, on the other hand, is a Chinese company. The Chinese government has practically unlimited control of any company based in the country. That means the Chinese government could tell TikTok’s parent company to hand over their servers, and it would be forced to comply. As tensions between the US and China rise, the US government considers user data being sent to China to be a national security risk.