San Francisco, United States:
ByteDance, the Chinese parent company of the popular TikTok, has offered to sell the app’s U.S. operations to avoid a ban by President Donald Trump’s government, The New York Times reported on Saturday.
After weeks of rumors and pressure, Trump said on Friday he was preparing to ban the app from operating in the United States, possibly by executive order on Saturday.
Previously, the media had suggested that Trump would demand that the app’s U.S. operations be divested from ByteDance, but instead announced a ban.
But the Times report, citing an anonymous source familiar with the matter, goes further, saying ByteDance has offered to do so.
The proposed divestment would not necessarily affect TikTok’s operations outside the United States, according to the report.
TikTok, especially popular with the younger audience who create and watch its short videos, has around one billion users worldwide.
But U.S. officials have raised concerns that it could be used as a Chinese intelligence tool – a claim the company has repeatedly denied.
“While we do not comment on rumors or speculation, we are confident in the long-term success of TikTok,” the company said when asked to comment on the Times report.
Some reports indicated that Microsoft was in advanced talks to buy TikTok.