As concerns around TikTok’s security rise, Microsoft has joined the fray with hopes to purchase the company after reports of a presidential plan to force the app’s parent company, ByteDance, to sell off its U.S. based operations came to light.
While it might be the most popular app among Gen Z'ers, TikTok has come under intense scrutiny as of late, with India banning it outright and countries like Australia and America toying with the idea of doing the same.
Some of the app’s top stars have likewise taken their leave in favor of rival program Triller, including the likes of Josh Richards, Griffin Johnson, and more, while names like streamer ‘Ninja’ have publicly decried TikTok for potential security threats (even deleting it from his phone, altogether).
Now, it appears that a presidential order could force TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, to sell off its U.S. stock— and Microsoft could be poised to pounce on the social media giant.
I have deleted the TIK TOK app off all my devices. Hopefully a less intrusive company (data farming) that isn’t owned by China can recreate the concept legally, such funny and amazing content on the app from influencers.
— Ninja (@Ninja) July 9, 2020
As initially reported by Fox News’ Charles Gasparino, it seems that Microsoft has entered talks to procure the U.S. portions of TikTok, although the company has yet to confirm these reports at the time of writing.
It’s also unclear whether the President has the power to force a foreign company to sell its U.S. stock, although reports of the order follow his statement considering a ban of the app days prior.
For now, TikTok’s future in the U.S. is unclear, although a spokesperson for the company has expressed hope for its continued performance.
— Charles Gasparino (@CGasparino) July 31, 2020
"While we do not comment on rumors or speculation, we are confident in the long-term success of TikTok,” a representative said in a statement to Business Insider.
When asked what they would do if TikTok were to be banned, creators like Charli D’Amelio — the app’s most-followed user — and Addison Rae expressed mild concern over the matter, with Rae claiming she might move to YouTube while D’Amelio will just “keep on dancing.”
Much like Vine before it, users are worried that its top creators could be forced to find success elsewhere. For now, they — along with everyone else — will have to wait and see.