TikTok Ban: ByteDance Said to Forgo Stake in TikTok to Clinch US Deal

Europe

China’s ByteDance has agreed to divest the US operations of TikTok completely in a bid to save a deal with the White House, after US President Donald Trump said on Friday he had decided to ban the popular short-video app, two people familiar with the matter said on Saturday. ByteDance was previously seeking to keep a minority stake in the US business of TikTok, which the White House had rejected.

Under the new proposed deal, ByteDance would exit completely and Microsoft would take over TikTok in the United States, the sources said. Some ByteDance investors that are based in the United States may be given the opportunity to take minority stakes in the business, the sources added.

The White House did not respond to a request for comment on whether Trump would accept ByteDance’s concession. ByteDance in Beijing did not respond to a request for comment

Under ByteDance’s new proposal, Microsoft will be in charge of protecting all US user data, the sources said. The plan allows for another US company other than Microsoft to take over TikTok in the United States, the sources added.

Microsoft did not respond to a request for comment.

© Thomson Reuters 2020

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