AceShowbiz - Donald Trump is softening his tune about TikTok. After declaring a complete ban on the video-sharing application, the president is now giving a deadline for an American company to take over the U.S. operations of TikTok.
On Monday, August 3, Trump spoke to reporters at the White House and was asked about Microsoft's ongoing negotiations to buy the popular Chinese-owned app. That's when he said that he gave until September 15 for Microsoft or another "secure" and "very American" company to buy the U.S. leg of the Chinese-owned operation or the wildly-popular application will cease operating in the U.S.
"I set a date of around Sept. 15, at which point it's going to be out of business," the president told White House reporters. "But if somebody, and whether it's Microsoft or somebody else, buys it, that'll be interesting."
Admitting that the brand name is "hot" right now, Trump said, "It's a great asset, but it's not a great asset in the United States unless they have the approval of the United States. So it'll close down on Sept. 15, unless Microsoft or somebody else is able to buy it and work out a deal."
POTUS additionally appeared to suggest that Microsoft would have to pay the U.S. government in order to complete the deal. Comparing the relationship of the app in the U.S. to that of a landlord and tenant, he said, "Without a lease, the tenant has nothing."
"A very substantial portion of that price is going to have to come into the Treasury of the United States. Because we're making it possible for this deal to happen," Trump added. "Right now they don't have any rights, unless we give it to them. So if we're going to give them the rights, it has to come into this country."
In a statement released on Monday night, a TikTok spokesperson said, "TikTok is loved by 100 million Americans because it is a home for entertainment, self-expression, and connection. We're motivated by their passion and creativity, and committed to continuing to bring joy to families and meaningful careers to those who create on our platform as we build TikTok for the long term. TikTok will be here for many years to come."
Microsoft, meanwhile, previously confirmed its interest in acquiring the U.S. arm of TikTok. "Microsoft fully appreciates the importance of addressing the President's concerns. 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," read a statement released by the software company.