Trump demands cut in a Microsoft TikTok deal

August 04, 2020 13:30

Popular Chinese video-sharing and social networking service, TikTok, has joined Huawei in becoming a battleground between the US and China. While US President Donald Trump previously tweeted he would ban the Chinese app he has since given approval for Microsoft to acquire it by 15 September.

However, for the approval to acquire the Chinese-owned video app Trump has said he wants a cut of the deal for the US Treasury. On the weekend Trump spoke to Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella, and relayed the demand for a 'very large percentage'.

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In a press conference on Monday, Trump suggested that the payment could come from any company that acquires TikTok or even the Chinese seller. However, details were vague on how the White House could force either of the parties to pay the treasury as the situation suggested is unheard of.

US officials have cracked down on companies they suspect are gathering sensitive data of American citizens for China. Trump has given a deadline of 15 September for any suitor to acquire TikTok, at which point the app would be banned for American users.

It's not clear how China's ByteDance, the company which owns TikTok, can separate its American, European and Asia operations and how its investors would react. Currently, Microsoft are working on how they could satisfy the administration's conditions in acquiring a part of, or the whole of TikTok.

More to come.

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