Any TikTok deal must provide total security and substantially benefit US, says Donald Trump

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Washington: Any deal to sell TikTok to an American company must provide “total security” and “substantially” benefit the United States, President Donald Trump has said as he emphasised on the September 15 deadline for the popular Chinese social networking app to enter into an agreement with a US firm to continue its operations in the country.

Microsoft is in talks to buy TikTok’s American business, a forced sale after Trump threatened to ban the video-sharing platform, which claims 100 million US users and hundreds of millions globally.

Citing India’s recent ban on Chinese social media apps, Trump on August 6 signed executive orders that would prevent TikTok and WeChat from operating in the US as they threatened America’s national security and economy. The ban comes into effect in 45 days.

India was the first country to ban TikTok and WeChat, citing national security concerns. India has banned as many as 106 Chinese apps, a move welcomed by both the Trump administration and the US lawmakers.

“We have a deadline of September 15. And whether it’s Microsoft, I understand — and others are negotiating — we also said that, obviously, it’s worthless if we don’t allow them into the country, so we said that the United States treasury is going to be getting something out of this deal — something very substantial,” Trump told reporters at the White House on Thursday.

“What we want is total security, but we have a deadline of September 15th. I know Microsoft and others are very interested in it, but that’s our deadline. And it has to be proven to be totally secure. We don’t want to have any information going into China with what we’ve been through,” he asserted.

Trump has been accusing TikTok, owned by the Chinese company ByteDance Ltd, of collecting personal information of Americans.

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