Microsoft is mulling the acquisition of the U.S. operations of the ballyhooed music-video app TikTok from its Chinese owner, Bytedance, a media report says.
Meanwhile, President Donald Trump plans to announce as soon as today an order for ByteDance to end its ownership of TikTok.
People familiar with both matters spoke to Bloomberg News.
Trump has said for weeks that he was considering the move for security reasons. The worry is that China’s government could spy through the app. TikTok has denied that it shares user data with China.
Opponents of a ban have warned that China may take revenge on U.S. technology companies.
"The US government should not ban TikTok simply because it is owned by a Chinese company," Daniel Castro, vice president at the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, said last week, according to the South China Morning Post.
"Foreign tech companies should not be kept out of the U.S. market because of rumors and innuendo," he said.
"Doing so not only risks immediate retaliation for U.S. companies, but it also would establish a global norm where countries are free to impose trade restrictions on digital goods and services for vague and undefined national security threats."
Meanwhile, The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday that Facebook (FB) - Get Report is offering major financial incentives to popular TikTok creators to provide exclusive content for a rival service known as Reels. It adds that some of the potential payments “would be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.”
Reels lets Instagram users share videos with music/audio soundtracks But whereas TikTok has a 60-second maximum video length, Reels videos for now can last only up to 15 seconds.