Microsoft has reportedly halted its bid to buy the US operations of China-based TikTok after President Donald Trump vowed to ban the short-video making app that has over 80 million monthly users in the country.
According to a report in The Wall Street Journal, a sale was thought close to agreement “but was put in doubt after the US president’s warning”.
Trump on Friday said that he will ban the popular Chinese-owned video app TikTok from operating in the country through an executive order.
The report said Microsoft has now paused talks despite TikTok owner ByteDance making last-ditch efforts.
Completion of such a transaction could make Microsoft a big player in the social media space as TikTok is hugely popular among the youth.
But the app, owned by Chinese unicorn ByteDance, is facing a lot of scrutiny in the US, especially after getting hit with a ban in India in June.
Last week, TikTok unveiled a plan to offer creators $2 billion globally in the next three years.
The TikTok move came after the media said Instagram is reportedly offering financial incentives to some popular TikTok creators in a bid to make them use Reels, a video-music remix feature that the Facebook-owned platform plans to unveil this month in the US.
Meanwhile, the US general manager of TikTok said on Saturday that the Chinese-owned video-sharing app is “here for the long run”.
Vanessa Pappas told TikTok users in a video statement that its staff were building “the safest app”.
TikTok denies any Chinese control.
The move to ban TikTok comes at a time of heightened tensions between the Trump administration and the Chinese government over a number of issues, including trade disputes and Beijing’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic.