The president said that he will release a decision on the video application TikTok on Saturday.
Microsoft had considered bidding for TikTok under ByteDance.
US President Donald Trump stated that he will ban TikTok, a Chinese company from entering the United States, because Americans are worried about the data collection of this popular music video application, which escalates the conflict between the government and China.
"As far as TikTok is concerned, we will prohibit them from entering the United States," the president told reporters on Friday night. When asked when he would do this, he said. "Soon, immediately. I mean basically immediately." He added: "I will sign the document tomorrow."
Trump stated that he has the right to ban this app owned by ByteDance Ltd., one of China's largest technology companies, and he can take this action through an executive order or under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act.
"I will sign the document tomorrow," he said before Air Force One ended its visit to Florida and landed in Washington.
According to people familiar with the matter, Trump’s move may subvert Microsoft’s potential bid, which is discussing acquisitions.
Trump rejected this idea on Friday.
He said, "This is not a deal you have been hearing about. They want to buy and sell, and this and that. There is also Microsoft and another. We are not an M&A company."
Microsoft declined to comment.
The ban on TikTok will be the government's latest move to curb China's global power in science and technology. TikTok has become one of the most popular applications in the world. It has been downloaded more than 2 billion times worldwide, and it has been downloaded more than 165 million times in the United States.
TikTok declined to comment.
The US government's move comes at a time when the US Foreign Investment Commission, which is reviewing the acquisition of US companies by overseas investors, is investigating the company. ByteDance acquired Musicaly.ly in 2017 and merged it with TikTok. Musicaly.ly was founded in Shanghai, but at the time had a large number of fans in the United States.
Trump said in early July that he was considering a ban as a retaliation for China's handling of the coronavirus. But the app has also raised concerns about the large amount of American data collected.
TikTok's huge data collection has caused US security concerns.
The government has been considering asking for the sale of TikTok's US business. According to three people familiar with the matter, the government is preparing to announce the sale order on Friday. Another person said later that the decision was shelved, pending further review by Trump.
White House adviser Peter Navarro said earlier in July that selling TikTok to US buyers would not resolve US concerns.
"If TikTok separates as an American company, it will not help us," Navarro said. "Because the situation will get worse-we will have to give China billions of dollars in exchange for TikTok's privilege to operate in the United States."
Microsoft's acquisition will bring a popular consumer application to the software manufacturer, which has won the favor of young people with its stable dance videos, lip-sync editing and viral memos. The company has been involved in social media investments in the past, but has not developed its own popular service in this lucrative field.
TikTok has repeatedly rejected allegations that it provides user data to China or is responsible to the Chinese government, even though ByteDance is headquartered in China. TikTok now has a US CEO, and ByteDance is also considering other organizational changes to meet the requirements of the US authorities.
"Hundreds of millions of people come to TikTok to entertain and connect, including our community of creators and artists, who are building a livelihood through the platform," a TikTok spokesperson said earlier Friday. "We are inspired by their passion and creativity and are committed to protecting their privacy and safety as we co
ntinue to work hard to bring joy to the family and to bring meaningful careers to those who create on our platform."
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