According to a Reuters report, the popular social video app TikTok could separate from its parent company ByteDance so that it can continue to be used in the United States.
The Chinese company ByteDance had planned to sell most of TikTok's US business, but retained a minority stake. However, the Trump administration recently ordered the app to be removed from Chinese control. President Trump even threatened to ban the app in the U.S., although the details of the exact mechanisms by which he could do so have not been clarified.
After threatening to ban the app in the U.S., the company appears to have changed its mind. According to reports, ByteDance now intends to completely remove itself from the US version of the app and has offered to hand control over to Microsoft. Microsoft would therefore be responsible for security and US user information.
However, Microsoft has not yet confirmed whether it will take up this deal. The conditions described by ByteDance reportedly allow another company to take on this role if Microsoft isn't interested. Even if this deal were made, the Trump administration could not reverse its position to ban the app.
In recent weeks, growing security concerns have been raised regarding whether data from the TikTok app can be viewed or stored by the Chinese government because ByteDance is a Chinese company and may be required by Chinese law to share data. A number of companies have banned the use of TikTok on work equipment because the app could be considered a security risk. India recently banned a number of Chinese apps, including TikTok, and accessed them from the Google Play Store and the iOS App Store in India.
In a video response to recent events, Vanessa Pappas, US General Manager at TikTok thanked users for their "support" and said, "We are not planning to go anywhere." She also mentioned the company's plans to bring 10,000 jobs in the US in the next three years.
We asked TikTok for confirmation and comment, but the company didn't respond immediately.