TikTok has seemingly taken over the world ever since it was released in September 2016, amassing over 2 billion downloads worldwide excluding Android users in China, according to data from mobile research firm Sensor Tower.
Despite its success, the application is shrouded in controversy over its short life-span, with concerns being raised about the app’s close relationship to the Chinese government. As a result of this never-ending controversy, US President Donald Trump and the Trump administration will reportedly force ByteDance, the Chinese company which owns TikTok, to sell the application to a U.S. owner, according to reports from Bloomberg.
There may already be a buyer. According to Fox Business reporter Charles Gasparino, tech giants Microsoft are in talks to buy the application, which has already been downloaded 187 million times in the U.S and is viewed as one of the only viable competitors to Facebook. However, Microsoft declined to comment on this matter.
— Charles Gasparino (@CGasparino) July 31, 2020
The Trump administration could force ByteDance to sell TikTok via the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), a similar tactic used in 2019 when it forced the Chinese owner of Grindr to sell the dating app to a U.S buyer.
The announcement comes weeks after U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that the US government was looking into banning the application. The US Congress has also recently banned TikTok from all federally-issued devices.
According to reports from Engadet, a spokesperson for TikTok said the company is “confident in the long-term success” of the app. “While we do not comment on rumors or speculation, we are confident in the long-term success of TikTok.”