In the lead up to Chinese-owned TikTok’s imminent ban in the US, Microsoft is pushing ahead with plans to purchase the popular social media platform’s operations in the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, as reported by Bloomberg.
The Redmond company had reportedly been in talks with TikTok’s China-based developer ByteDance for a number of weeks, but the deal is now being forced to speed up following US president Donald Trump’s move to ban the service.
Microsoft’s CEO Satya Nadella spoke with Trump over the weekend regarding the Redmond company’s plans, assuring the US President that the purchase would be subject to a number of security and privacy improvements, including a move to store all American user data exclusively in the United States.
“Microsoft fully appreciates the importance of addressing the President’s concerns,” said the company in its official statement. “It is committed to acquiring TikTok subject to a complete security review and providing proper economic benefits to the United States, including the United States Treasury.”
According to TikTok, American user data is already stored on US-based servers, and while that data is backed up offshore on servers based in Singapore, it is completely safe from the Chinese government.
It’s worth noting that Microsoft’s statement does not emphatically reveal whether Trump approves of the proposed deal, or if the President will put his plan to ban TikTok on hold.
That said, Microsoft seems pretty confident that the deal will go ahead, stating that talks to purchase the TikTok business in the four markets will happen “in a matter of weeks” with an expected completion date of September 15, 2020.