Trump gives TikTok a deadline for sale of US operations

Trump gives TikTok a deadline for sale of US operations
Donald Trump has threatened to ban the wildly popular app TikTok. Source: AFP
3 Min Read

Daily US Times: After days of dilemma of the future of the popular Chinese shot form TikTok, President Donald Trump said he would allow an American company to the app — with a catch.

On Monday, Trump set September 15 as the deadline for TikTok to find a US buyer. If the Chinese app fails to do that, which Trump said he will shut down the app in the country. Trump also said in an unusual declaration that any deal would have to include a “substantial amount of money” coming to the US Treasury.

President Trump said: “Right now they don’t have any rights unless we give it to them. So if we’re going to give them the rights, then … it has to come into this country.”

“It’s a great asset, but it’s not a great asset in the United States unless they have approval in the United States.”

Asked in a subsequent press briefing whether the money for the Treasury should come from Microsoft — which is attempting to purchase the app — or TikTok’s Chinese parent ByteDance, the President said the US should get a significant portion of the deal “either way.”

“Whether it’s Microsoft or somebody else, or if it’s the Chinese — what the price is, the United States could — should get a very large percentage of that price. Because we’re making it possible,” Mr Trump said.

Trump described his proposal as being similar to a lease between a tenant and a landlord, adding that TikTok owes the US for its success.

President Trump said TikTok is a tremendous success, but a big portion of it’s in this country.

According to Gene Kimmelman, a former chief counsel for the US Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division, the President’s requirement that some of the money from the deal go to the US Treasury doesn’t have a basis in antitrust law.

Kimmelman said: “This is quite unusual, this is out of the norm.”

TikTok said it remains committed to its large user base in America.

Company spokesperson Josh Gartner said in a statement that TikTok is loved by 100 million Americans because it is a home for entertainment, self-expression, and connection,

“TikTok will be here for many years to come,” the statement added.

Days after Trump first said he would ban the popular short-form video app from operating in the US, Microsoft says it is still discussing a potential purchase of TikTok.

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