After getting banned in India, TikTok is now on the verge of losing its US market. President Donald Trump has warned of banning the short video app in the US on September 15 if it doesn’t sell the US business to an American company. Microsoft also showed interest in acquiring TikTok’s operation and CEO Satya Nadela is in the conversation for the deal. Under the proposed agreement, Microsoft said it would take over TikTok’s operations in the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
The US President later said that he made a demand for a “substantial portion” of the purchase price to be paid to the US treasury. Now ByteDance is under immense pressure, mainly because it has recently lost a market it was hugely invested in (India), and now it’s another huge market at stake due to national security concerns.
China won’t accept the “theft” of TikTok
Bytedance hasn’t commented on this yet. But China Daily, a state-run newspaper today published an editorial that reads, “China will by no means accept the theft of a Chinese technology company, and it has plenty of ways to respond if the administration carries out its planned smash and grab.”
Another Chinese government-backed newspaper, Global Times called the sale a “daylight robbery.”
The US government has a clear case against Huawei over IP theft and other issues, but there’s no substantial evidence against TikTok as of now. For taking a cut in the TikTok-Microsoft deal, the Trump government has yet to explain why the treasury should be given a cut. TikTok’s future in the US market is still blurry; it all depends on the resolution that ByteDance comes up with if it needs to survive in the US market. Also, it would be interesting to see how the Chinese government retaliates to the move.