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TikTok Is On The Clock As Trump Threatens Ban, Microsoft Mulls Acquisition

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TikTok, the popular social media video app with more than 500 million worldwide users, is caught in a political and technological crossfire.

What Happened: On July 7, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told Fox News the U.S. is “looking at” banning TikTok and other Chinese social media apps due to privacy concerns. Pompeo warned Americans they should be cautious when using TikTok unless they want private information in the hands of the Chinese Communist Party.

On July 31, President Donald Trump doubled down on Pompeo’s call.

“As far as TikTok is concerned we’re banning them from the United States,” Trump said. “I have that authority. I can do it with an executive order or that.”

Why it’s Important: Trump’s declaration came on the same day reports emerged Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT) was interested in buying TikTok from Chinese owner ByteDance.

TikTok has up to 80 million monthly active users in the U.S.

“Some investors of TikTok’s parent company ByteDance seeking to take over the popular social media app are valuing it at about $50 billion,” people familiar with the matter told Reuters earlier this week.

What’s Next: Trump could sign the executive order as soon as Saturday.

Snapchat parent company Snap Inc (NYSE: SNAP) spiked higher Friday afternoon on the Trump report, but pared those gains to close nearly unchanged at $22.42.

© 2020 Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.


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