Trump’s App Ultimatum: U.S. Buyer for China’s TikTok, or it’s Banned

U.S. President issues September 15 deadline . . .

Microsoft’s proposed buyout of TikTok, the massively-popular and controversial Chinese-owned app that was banned in India last month, comes amid serious tension in the U.S.-China relationship. Citing “national security concerns” over the personal data TikTok handles, U.S. President Donald Trump has aggressively pushed for an American company to buy the app and has set September 15 as the deadline. Without a U.S. buyer, Trump has promised to ban the app in the United States. Trump has also stressed that the U.S. should receive some sort of compensation as part of the transaction since TikTok’s presence in the U.S. would allow it to prosper in the American market.

China’s response . . .

Beijing said it will not accept the acquisition of TikTok by Microsoft or any other U.S. buyer and considers Trump’s ultimatum to be “theft of a Chinese technology company.” China also said it has many avenues to respond if the Trump-supported acquisition of TikTok comes to fruition.

Will Canada follow the U.S.?

Microsoft’s proposed TikTok purchase would impact the app’s presence not only in the U.S. but also in Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. Ottawa may soon have to decide whether or not to support such a deal, but Prime Minister Trudeau has so far remained silent on TikTok’s future in Canada. If the TikTok acquisition window expires, it remains to be seen whether Canada, or other allies, would follow the U.S. in banning the app.