ByteDance would forfeit stake in US operations of TikTok to preserve deal: report

ByteDance, the Chinese company that owns the popular social media platform TikTok, said it would forfeit its stake in the U.S. operations of the app as a way to reach a deal with the Trump administration.

Two people familiar with the discussions told Reuters Saturday of the foreign tech company’s alleged offer after President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump says he will ban TikTok from operating in the US Trump’s 2019 financial disclosure reveals revenue at Mar-a-Lago, other major clubs Treasury to conduct policy review of tax-exempt status for universities after Trump tweets MORE told reporters onboard Air Force One Friday he would order TikTok to be banned in the U.S. this weekend over national security concerns. 

On Saturday, TikTok released a video on social media featuring U.S. General Manager Vanessa Pappas addressing the president’s latest statements about the app saying, “We’re here for the long run.” 

At one point, ByteDance planned to keep minority stakes in the U.S. business of TikTok, but that concession was rejected by the White House. 

The newly proposed deal would see a complete exit of ByteDance from the platform and usher in Microsoft to take on the management of TikTok in the U.S., the sources told Reuters.

The White House, Microsoft and TikTok did not immediately respond to inquiries from The Hill.

A spokesperson for TikTok told the New York Times that “while we do not comment on rumors or speculation, we are confident in the long-term success of TikTok.”

U.S. officials have cracked down on TikTok’s Chinese-based parent company ByteDance over data and privacy concerns that the administration considers a threat to national security.

Earlier this month, a new amendment banning the app from government devices was approved by the House, preventing federal employees from downloading it.

TikTok is reportedly used by nearly 80 million active accounts daily in the United States, and almost 70 percent of ByteDance’s outside investors come from the U.S.

Sources told Reuters some ByteDance investors based in the U.S. could be granted the ability to take minority stakes in the company if the White House concession is met.

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