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Exclusive: TikTok's Chinese owner offers to forego stake to clinch U.S. deal - sources

Exclusive: TikTok's Chinese owner offers to forego stake to clinch U.S. deal - sources

8/1/2020 7:35:00 PM

Exclusive : TikTok's Chinese owner offers to forego stake to clinch U.S. deal - sources

China's ByteDance has agreed to divest the U.S. operations of TikTok completely in a bid to save a deal with the White House, after President Donald Trump said on Friday he had decided to ban the popular short-video app, two people familiar with the matter said on Saturday.

5 Min ReadNEW YORK/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - China’s ByteDance has agreed to divest the U.S. operations of TikTok completely in a bid to save a deal with the White House, after President Donald Trump said on Friday he had decided to ban the popular short-video app, two people familiar with the matter said on Saturday.

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FILE PHOTO: TikTok logos are seen on smartphones in front of a displayed ByteDance logo in this illustration taken November 27, 2019. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File PhotoU.S. officials have said TikTok under its Chinese parent poses a national risk because of the personal data it handles. ByteDance’s concession will test whether Trump’s threat to ban TikTok is a negotiating tactic, or whether he is intent on cracking down on a social media app that has up to 80 million daily active users in the United States.

Trump told reporters onboard Air Force One late on Friday that he would issue an order for TikTok to be banned in the United States as early as Saturday. “Not the deal that you have been hearing about, that they are going to buy and sell... We are not an M&A (mergers and acquisitions) country,” Trump said.

ByteDance was previously seeking to keep a minority stake in the U.S. business of TikTok, which the White House had rejected. Under the new proposed deal, ByteDance would exit completely and Microsoft Corp would take over TikTok in the United States, the sources said.

Some ByteDance investors that are based in the United States may be given the opportunity to take minority stakes in the business, the sources added. About 70% of ByteDance’s outside investors come from the United States.The White House declined to comment on whether Trump would accept ByteDance’s concession. ByteDance in Beijing did not respond to a request for comment.

“We are here for the long run. Continue to share your voice here and let’s stand for TikTok,” TikTok U.S. general manager Vanessa Pappas said in a video published on the app on Saturday.Under ByteDance’s new proposal, Microsoft, which also owns professional social media network LinkedIn, will be in charge of protecting all of TikTok’s U.S. user data, the sources said. The plan allows for a U.S. company other than Microsoft to take over TikTok in the United States, the sources added.

Microsoft did not respond to a request for comment.As relations between the United States and China deteriorate over trade, Hong Kong’s autonomy, cyber security and the spread of the novel coronavirus, TikTok has emerged as a flashpoint in the dispute between the world’s two largest economies.

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ByteDance has been considering a range of options for TikTok amid U.S. pressure to relinquish control of the app, which allows users to create short videos with special effects and has become wildly popular with U.S. teenagers.ByteDance had received a proposal from some of its investors, including Sequoia and General Atlantic, to transfer majority ownership of TikTok to them, Reuters reported on Wednesday. The proposal valued TikTok at about $50 billion, but some ByteDance executives believe the app is worth more than that.

ByteDance acquired Shanghai-based video app Musical.ly in a $1 billion deal in 2017 and relaunched it as TikTok the following year. ByteDance did not seek approval for the acquisition from the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), which reviews deals for potential national security risks. Reuters reported last year that CFIUS had opened an investigation into TikTok.

APP SCRUTINYThe United States has been increasingly scrutinizing app developers over the personal data they handle, especially if some of it involves U.S. military or intelligence personnel. Ordering the divestment of TikTok would not be the first time the White House has taken action over such concerns.

Earlier this year, Chinese gaming company Beijing Kunlun Tech Co Ltd sold Grindr LLC, a popular gay dating app it bought in 2016, for $620 million after being ordered by CFIUS to divest.In 2018, CFIUS forced China’s Ant Financial to scrap plans to buy MoneyGram International Inc over concerns about the safety of data that could identify U.S. citizens.

ByteDance was valued at as much as $140 billion earlier this year when one of its shareholders, Cheetah Mobile, sold a small stake in a private deal, Reuters has reported. The startup’s investors include Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp.The bulk of ByteDance’s revenue comes from advertising on apps under its Chinese operations including Douyin - a Chinese version of TikTok - and news aggregator app Jinri Toutiao, as well as video-streaming app Xigua and Pipixia, an app for jokes and humorous videos.

Reporting by Echo Wang in New York and Alexandra Alper in Washington, D.C.; Editing by Diane Craft Read more: Reuters Top News »

Republicafer This trade war is becoming interesting ... The US is doing to TikTok and Huawei what it did to the French company Alstom—accuse them of spurious crimes and try to force them essentially at gunpoint to be sold to an American company. This is simply another act of corporate thuggery and thievery from the US.

The art of the deal. Oh that’s reassuring 🙄 This national security risk is a complete made-up BS. Let’s be real: like Facebook, how many TikTok users info is real? Maybe 5%? 1%? Chinese should boycott Tiktok for it being such weak What a “FREE” market US is...... So now it is not a devil app lol Haha the US has the power to control the most of countries in the world.

Sounds like a reasonable compromise. It's all about the money. It's all about the damn damn..damn damn..damn damn..😝 So rump is working for Microsoft now? That’s a game. Microsoft is leftist company has much more business in China. Must banned. Please start nuclear war Mr Trump. Gotta cancel out some zoomers. 👍👍👍

One simple question. Did Chinese regulators approve the deal? *phew* Thank goodness, we can get back to only our own country stealing all our data. That was a close one. Trump’s central planning is economic disaster. The communist GOP must be stopped. When will he ban Facebook? こんなことするし、正解だとおもうよ La prohíbe porqué es chino y cómo siempre desde que tengo uso de razón todo lo chino es malo o descartable, dividir ha sido o defenestrar la tarea de hormigas de los 'inteligentes' yankis

app qué entretiene bobos like a vikings This is crazy Putin style boycotttiktok 这是抢劫! Took him years and just now before an election he’s into masks and safety of Americans. Lol. What a joke. CNN, MSNBC BostonGlobe Lawrence RachelMaddow RepAdamSchiff senschumer speakerpelosi do your jobs. Look at who has given to his campaign. You may find your answer here. Look for the Microsoft employee/early investor who contributed.

Political game, not market ecomomy Ban Tik tok .. . America is a robber. Trump wins again! 🤣🤣🤣 well,well, that is to say, only USA company can spy on the whole world. The tiktok doesn't do anything wrong,but it's a china company Tik tok won't be banned lol Im laughing way too hard at this one, Im sorry Trump just want to revenge What tiptok users done to His campaign

Donald finessed China? win win for all. So in other words only American companies are allowed to be successful or spying on you How are they going to resolve security issue and data protection ? equityin why is reuters obsessed with india? even the video should have india? I wonder what Insider Trading Trump has done on this..

Nah Just shut it down Twitter too A real Triumph of the Will... International activities of the Latin America states in combating drug trafficking in the XXI century:_______ America is really the king of robbers in the world If I lose to you, I will punish you. A confident and strong America!👏🏻👏🏻 JUST ANOTHER TRADE WAR 😂

All Google Apps are spying us right now! pages you visit, key words, comments; the cuestion is wich side goes all of the raw users data, USA or China. That´s all. I'm curious about what data Tiktok can steal from you? Tiktok registration only asked your birthday, much less sensitive data than what required by FB and Twitter. So they steal your public videos? Why don't they go YouTube and grab some videos? Think about it

It's like closing the Chinese consulate in Houston - as if the Chinese cannot spy from other embassies in the US. Banning TikTok and letting other Chinese software and hardware run on US soil is just publicity smoke and mirrors. ActivityVsProductivity LOL all these people upset at TikTok tweeting on iPhone & Android like Apple & Google (& Facebook & Amazon) aren't gathering the same data TikTok does. Trump just butt-hurt because TikTokers ruined his Tulsa rally & Sarah Cooper.

I would ask the owners of ByteDance to WAIT it out till November when the mad man is out of the WhiteHouse. The company will one day be worth a trillion dollars, not a miniscule $50 billion. robbery Sure. Sell it to Microsoft and pretend it doesn't steal your data. Never trust USA they lied cheated and stole

Freedom! Too late! Why Microsoft?! Fuck Microsoft Por culpa de EEUU de ahora en adelante vamos a desconfiar de todo lo que viene de China y no porque sea de mala calidad sino porque es probable que espíen a sus usuarios. Y los motivos no son infundados ya que hay una nueva guerra fría entre ellos. Microsoft

Desperate times for Bytedance and it's VietCong (VC) investors. first How dare a non-US app become a trend and everyone using it! Lol by no means can USA trust ByteDance, which is controlled by CCP that doesn't care about money but to get information from the US and to influence the new generation of US teens. we need to abandon this App permanently

IDK if that deal goes through if POTUS bans it in the USA No compromise, total get out of America. Facebook doesn‘t want tiktok to be acquired by Microsoft, but rather tiktok would become its local competitor if it were acquired. Instagram wants to launch a US version of tiktok, and then everyone says u're a copycat, so it's in Facebook's best interest to make tiktok illegal.

All hackers business are hazardous to public privacy especially when intensions are wrong. This is the land of free market and free speech. Companies got banned bcz the gov suspects it being used in spy purpose, without solid evidence or any trial. Today it is tiktok, what about tomorrow Do we really trust the code behind the app?

Exclusive: TikTok owner ByteDance considers listing China business in Hong Kong or Shanghai - sourcesChinese tech giant ByteDance is considering listing its domestic business in Hong Kong or Shanghai, people familiar with the matter told Reuters, against a backdrop of rising Sino-U.S. tensions over its hit non-China video app TikTok. TikTok should be banned , its a spy agency for the Xinjinping longterm abusive regime against people worldwide & minorities as the Uyghurs and the people of HongKong & others .. BoycottTikTok Boycott_China coronavirus

Exclusive: ByteDance offers to forgo stake in TikTok to clinch U.S. deal - sourcesChina's ByteDance has agreed to divest the U.S. operations of TikTok completely in a bid to save a deal with the White House, after President Donald Trump said on Friday he had decided to ban the popular short-video app, two people familiar with the matter said on Saturday. What's China getting out of letting it go? There’s hope I guess!! People will be happy with this! Trump - manipulating businesses he’s angry at.

Promising a TikTok ban, Trump escalates tech war with ChinaIn reportedly preparing an order to force TikTok's Chinese parent company to sell it off, the Trump administration chooses a peculiar cyberdefense beachhead in an emerging battle over information espionage. Too talk that's true capitalism 155,000 Americans dead by Monday and this is the priority?

Trump to ban China-owned TikTok from USUS President Trump's move comes following a review by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, which investigates deals affecting US national security. Will ban * Afflicted by Sinophobia.

Triller sues TikTok, alleging it used patented editing feature - Business InsiderBusiness Insider is a fast-growing business site with deep financial, media, tech, and other industry verticals. Launched in 2007, the site is now the largest business news site on the web. And no one's gonna save you from the beast about to strike both shit names, both dumb apps

Senators call for Justice Department investigation of TikTok, Zoom - Business InsiderBusiness Insider is a fast-growing business site with deep financial, media, tech, and other industry verticals. Launched in 2007, the site is now the largest business news site on the web. How about every American call for the Justice Department to investigate every Senator and their ties? Witch-hunt!