Is a change in ownership coming to TikTok? If President Trump has anything say about it, yes.
Microsoft is reportedly in talks to acquire TikTok, the video app owned by Chinese company ByteDance. The New York Times and Bloomberg both source an unidentified person with knowledge of the acquisition discussions.
The reports come as Trump told reporters on Friday that he was considering taking steps that would effectively ban the app from the U.S. “We’re looking at TikTok, we may be banning TikTok,” the president said.
TikTok has come under fire recently from the Trump administration over privacy concerns and national security, claiming the app is susceptible to influence from the Chinese government.
Government officials have in recent years cracked down on Chinese companies, including telecom company Huawei. There is concern that Chinese companies may share data with the Chinese government. TikTok and Huawei both deny this.
TikTok issued a statement Friday saying that, “While we do not comment on rumors or speculation, we are confident in the long-term success of TikTok.”
The company says it would not give the Chinese government access to U.S. user data even if asked.
TikTok’s app features short videos that has become a favorite of younger people and is known for its light-hearted feel. According to Reuters, some investors of ByteDance are valuing TikTok at about $50 billion. The Times estimates it at $100 billion.
TikTok is not a publicly traded company.
Contributing: Tali Arbel, Associated Press
Follow Josh Rivera on Twitter: @Josh1Rivera.