Trump says he will ban TikTok for executive action on Saturday
President Donald Trump told reporters on Friday that he will act on Saturday to ban the United States' Chinese video application TikTok, NBC News reported.
Trump made the comments while talking to reporters at Air Force One.
Trump did not specify whether he would act through an executive order or other method as a designation, according to NBC News.
Trump's comments were released on Friday that Microsoft held talks to buy the Chinese-owned ByteDance's TikTok mobile video sharing app, a person close to the situation told CNBC. This person characterized the conversations as having been going on for some time, not as new.
Trump told reporters that he firmly rejected the spin-off deal involving Microsoft's purchase of TikTok, NBC News reported.
An acquisition of TikTok could make Microsoft, a major provider of business software, more focused on consumer technology, which Microsoft has moved away from in recent years, moving out of the smartphone, fitness and e-book hardware markets.
Chinese company ByteDance launched TikTok in 2017. The app became more popular during the coronavirus pandemic, with 2 billion downloads in April, according to Sensor Tower. Competitors include Facebook and Snap.
ByteDance investors trying to take control of TikTok valued it at $ 50 billion, Reuters reported earlier this week.
The rise of TikTok in the U.S. prompted the Trump administration to examine the application.
Microsoft declined to comment on the negotiations, which were reported by Fox Business Network
Trump said on Friday that the government was considering several options for what to do with TikTok, including banning the app.
Earlier this month, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the United States was considering banning TikTok and other Chinese social media apps, citing national security concerns. Pompeo added that the Trump administration is evaluating TikTok similar to Chinese technology companies Huawei and ZTE, which he previously described as "Trojan horses for Chinese intelligence".
US officials have long complained that Chinese intellectual property theft has cost the economy billions of dollars in revenue and thousands of jobs and threatens national security. Beijing maintains that it does not engage in intellectual property theft.
The Trump administration's decision represents another step in the deterioration of relations between Washington and Beijing and comes a week after the U.S. closed the Chinese consulate in Houston, prompting China to close the American consulate in Chengdu.
The Pentagon has taken concrete steps to discourage US service members and their families from using technology supported by China.
In December, the Defense Information Systems Agency advised that all Defense Department personnel should not use the Chinese-owned social media platform, citing a "potential risk associated with using the TikTok app".
A year earlier, the Pentagon halted sales of Huawei and ZTE cell phones and modems at military bases around the world, again citing national security concerns.
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