A ban would further pressure TikTok’s Chinese parent company ByteDance to sell the app’s U.S. operations amid national security concerns about users’ personal data. Microsoft is a leading contender to buy.
“As far as TikTok is concerned, we’re banning them from the United States,” Trump told reporters on Air Force One.“I have that authority…It’s going to be signed tomorrow.” He said he could use an executive order or emergency economic powers.
Investment bankers told FOX Business if the Microsoft deal falls through, ByteDance will certainly shop TikTok wider including to private equity firms. A person with direct knowledge told FOX Business there are two to three serious buyers that have expressed interest.
Any deal will be closely scrutinized by the Trump administration. “If Microsoft or any U.S. company buys TikTok this will be carefully monitored to make sure there is absolutely no Chinese involvement in the new company,” said one Wall Street executive with knowledge of the matter.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said earlier this month the government was considering banning TikTok over security concerns.