02 Aug 2020: After India's ban, questions loom over TikTok's fate in America
A month ago, India banned TikTok, citing concerns over data security and deeming the app prejudicial to sovereignty, integrity, and defense of India, as well as security of the state and public order.
Now, US President Donald Trump is also mulling a similar move over similar concerns, leaving major questions over the fate of the famous Chinese video-sharing app in the country.
Ban: President Trump said TikTok will be banned
On Friday night, President Trump told reporters that he plans to ban TikTok in the United States.
"We're banning them from the United States," he said, adding, "I will sign the document (issuing the ban) tomorrow."
Now, while Trump did not sign the order on Saturday, his trade adviser Peter Navarro indicated that the action would be taken on Sunday or Monday.
Workround: Meanwhile, ByteDance, the app's parent, is looking to negotiate
As Trump continues his ban rhetoric against TikTok, ByteDance, the Chinese giant owning the video app, has been trying to negotiate a deal to allay his administration's concerns - while letting the app survive.
For this, Reuters reports, the company initially offered to sell a majority stake in TikTok's US business to its American investors but then agreed to forgo the entire stake completely.
Possibility: Microsoft could buy the US arm of TikTok?
While nothing is confirmed at this stage, prior to President Trump's ban comments, Microsoft was said to be the leading contender to acquire the US arm of TikTok.
The companies were reportedly in advanced talks of a deal under which TikTok's American operations - including the data of its users in the country - would under the protection of Microsoft.
Fact: Other company could also be allowed
Reuters' sources familiar with the matter said that ByteDance's plan also allows for some other American company taking over the US arm of TikTok, with its own investors based in the country taking minority stakes.
Change: For now, the talks have been paused
That said, in light of Trump's comments, the talks between Microsoft and ByteDance have been put on hold, the Wall Street Journal reported.
The companies planned to iron out a deal as early as Monday, but now, given the President's clear opposition, they (Microsoft, in particular) are trying to understand White House's stance on the matter and whether it plans any future against TikTok.
Goal: Why ByteDance is hell-bent on protecting TikTok in America?
ByteDance is hell-bent on protecting TikTok in the US in a bid to keep the video app from losing a top market where it boasts more than 100 million active users and creators.
If imposed, the ban would undoubtedly be a big blow for TikTok, especially considering it has already been banned in India - its second-largest market with over 200 million users.