Washington-ALsharqiya, August 3: Three well-informed sources said President Donald Trump only agreed to allow Microsoft to negotiate the acquisition of Tik Tok's app for short video clips if it could strike a deal within 45 days.
The move marks a shift in Trump's position and prompted Microsoft, the tech giant, to announce its interest in completing the acquisition of the social media app, a move that could fuel tension in US-China relations.
Trump said on Friday that he intended to ban the Tik Tok application, amid concerns that his Chinese ownership would pose a threat to national security because of the personal data the app is processing.
The acquisition of the Tik Tok app, which boasts 100 million US users, will provide a rare opportunity for Microsoft to become a major competitor to social media giants such as Facebook and Snap. Microsoft also owns LinkedIn's social network.
Trump rejected the idea of selling the app to Microsoft on Friday. However, following a discussion between him and the company’s chief executive, Satya Nadella, Microsoft said in a statement on Sunday that it would continue negotiations to buy Tik Tok from Bit Dance and that it was aiming to reach an agreement by September 15.
The sources said that this deadline was set for the two companies, Byte Dance and Microsoft, for the Foreign Investment Committee in the United States, which examines deals that involve risks related to national security.
A source said that Trump changed his mind following pressure from some of his Republican advisors and leaders. The application ban would alienate many of its young users before the US presidential election in November, and would open the door to a wave of judicial appeals.