Microsoft Corp. is in talks to purchase TikTok’s operations in the U.S., according to a person familiar with the matter who asked not to be identified because the discussions are private. A spokesman for Microsoft declined to comment.
The move comes as President Trump is reportedly planning to announce a decision ordering ByteDance to divest its U.S. ownership of TikTok, according to people familiar with the matter. The U.S. has been investigating potential national security risks due to the Chinese company’s control of the video-sharing app. Trump’s decision could be announced as soon as Friday, said the people.
“We are looking at TikTok. We may be banning TikTok,” Trump told reporters at the White House Friday. “We are looking at a lot of alternatives with respect to TikTok.”
Spokespeople for the White House and Treasury Department didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment. A TikTok spokesperson couldn’t be reached for comment.
ByteDance bought Musical.ly Inc. in 2017 and merged it with TikTok, creating a social-media hit in the U.S.—the first Chinese app to make such inroads.