Donald Trump Warns of 'Banning TikTok’ During Potential Microsoft Bid (UPDATE)

“We’re looking at TikTok, we may be banning TikTok," Trump said Friday. Microsoft is reportedly in talks with TikTok's parent ByteDance to buy the app.

tiktok trump

Image via Getty

tiktok trump

UPDATED 8/3, 1:30 p.m. ET: Trump informed press at the White House on Monday that Microsoft or, as CNN’s Jim Acosta tweeted, “another acceptable company” must buy TikTok by Sept. 15 or it’ll supposedly be shut down in America.

Trump just told WH pool reporters he will insist that Tik Tok be sold to Microsoft or another acceptable company by Sept 15 or the social media platform will be shut down in US.

— jim acosta (@Acosta) August 3, 2020

On Sunday, a Reutersreport noted the Sept. 15 date as well. “This is a deadline that was put to ByteDance and Microsoft by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), which scrutinizes deals for potential national security risks, according to the sources,” read the piece.

See previous updates below.

UPDATED 8/1, 10:30 a.m. ET: TikTok's U.S. General Manager, Vanessa Pappas, posted a statement saying the platform isn't planning on "going anywhere."

A message to the TikTok community.

— TikTok US (@tiktok_us) August 1, 2020

UPDATED 7/31, 11:30 p.m. ET: On Friday night, Donald Trump told press he planned to ban TikTok and could do so as early as Saturday using an executive order, according to multiple reports

"As far as TikTok is concerned, we're banning them from the United States," he said, according to a pool report. According to TheHill, Trump signaled that he did not support an American company like Microsoft acquiring TikTok. This comes after months of Trump's threats to ban the app, owned by Chinese company ByteDance. 

In response, the hashtag #tiktokban quickly began trending on Twitter and the memes rolled in. Check out some of the reactions below. 

all the kids waking up tomorrow not being able to open tiktok

— dame time ⌚؜ (@kinnfanaccount) August 1, 2020

Tiktok creators after realizing they cant stand in front of our tweets and blow up anymore

— Not V🌎☄️💕 (@dysflexiaa) August 1, 2020

Trump quick to ban TikTok but not the KKK🤔

— John Marston (@mrcapsaveahoe1) August 1, 2020

See original story below. 

TikTok’s future as a major player in U.S. social media culture has seemed more precarious since India banned the app over privacy concerns earlier this summer. Shortly after, the Trump Administration began considering the same course of action—especially due to Donald Trump’s increasingly prickly relationship with China amid COVID-19

Fortunately for Gen Z, Trump hasn’t pulled the rug out from TikTok users just yet, likely fearing an uprising from the same K-Pop stans who ruined his Oklahoma rally. However, Trump made it clear on Friday that he’s still looking into banning the app or taking alternative measures to sanction the company. 

“We’re looking at TikTok, we may be banning TikTok,” Trump told reporters on Friday, according to the New York Times. “We may be doing some other things. There’s a couple of options. But a lot of things are happening, so we’ll see what happens. But we are looking at a lot of alternatives with respect to TikTok.”

These comments come as the New York Times also reports that Microsoft is currently in talks to buy TikTok from the app’s Chinese parent company ByteDance. To avoid a U.S. ban, ByteDance has reportedly been working to find a new home for TikTok outside of China, after hiring former Disney exec Kevin Mayer as CEO of the app and COO of ByteDance. The Vine-like music app is valued at $50 billion. 

“While we do not comment on rumors or speculation, we are confident in the long-term success of TikTok. Hundreds of millions of people come to TikTok for entertainment and connection, including our community of creators and artists who are building livelihoods from the platform,” a spokesperson told Deadline. “We’re motivated by their passion and creativity, and committed to protecting their privacy and safety as we continue working to bring joy to families and meaningful careers to those who create on our platform.”

TikTok currently boasts over 800 million users and is ushering in a new generation of media and cultural consumption. It seems unlikely that TikTok will go down quietly, even if the Trump Administration issues a total ban.

Latest in Life