Apple (AAPL) - Get Report denied that it is in the running to purchase the U.S. operations of popular Chinese-owned social media platform TikTok after Axios reported that the tech giant was interested in buying it.
While Microsoft (MSFT) - Get Report has confirmed that it is negotiating with ByteDance, the Chinese conglomerate that owns TikTok, to purchase the platform's U.S., Canada, Australia and New Zealand operations, Apple responded to the report by saying that there are no negotiations and it is not interested.
Apple has about $193 billion in cash on hand and last month strong second-quarter results helped the tech company overtake oil driller Saudi Aramco as the world's most valuable publicly listed company. Axios reported earlier that multiple sources outside of Apple said that the tech giant has expressed interest in buying TikTok.
Meanwhile, TikTok has been a lightning rod for scrutiny after President Trump told reporters that he would ban the social media app in the U.S. while also indicating that he was against its possible sale to a U.S. company on Friday.
It wasn't the first time the president threatened to ban TikTok. On July 7, Trump said that banning TikTok was "one of many" options being considered to punish China for the coronavirus, Business Insider reported.
The negative press prompted a video response from TikTok U.S. General Manager Vanessa Pappas talking about a potential ban.
The criticisms against TikTok aren't new.
In December, the U.S. Navy banned TikTok from military-issued smartphones a week after the Pentagon sent out a "Cyber Awareness Message." In January the U.S. Army and Air force followed suit.
In June, India banned TikTok, along with scores of other Chinese apps, and in July, Amazon (AMZN) - Get Report told employees in an email to delete TikTok from their phones "due to security risks," before walking back the policy later in the day, telling Business Insider that the email was "sent in error."
Wells Fargo WFC stuck by its ban of TikTok, saying "corporate-owned devices should be used for company business only."
And both Democratic and Republican national committees warned staff not to download TikTok because of security concerns.
An email from the DNC security team that was obtained by CNN read "We continue to advise campaign staff to refrain from using TikTok on personal devices. If you are using TikTok for campaign work, we recommend using a separate phone and account."