ByteDance Said to Offer to Sell TikTok’s U.S. Operations


ByteDance, the Chinese internet giant that owns TikTok, has offered to sell all of the popular video app’s American operations as a way to save the business from being banned by the Trump administration, a person with knowledge of the matter said on Saturday.

President Trump had told reporters on Friday that he was considering various options for TikTok, including banning it. White House officials have said the app may pose a national security threat because of its Chinese ownership. India, one of TikTok’s largest markets, banned the app in June, citing security concerns. That helped prompt the Trump administration to consider with greater urgency whether TikTok should be curbed in the United States as well.

ByteDance’s offer to completely divest TikTok’s American operations was reported earlier by Reuters.

It was not clear whether the Trump administration would accept the divestment as a sufficient response to its concerns. ByteDance had previously sought to keep a minority stake in TikTok’s American operations, but the administration rejected that, according to the person with knowledge of the matter, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the discussions are confidential.

Microsoft and other companies have been in talks to buy TikTok, but a deal has not yet been reached, the person added. The proposed divestment would not necessarily affect the company’s operations outside the United States. TikTok has offices and users around the globe. It has said it has 100 million users in the United States.

In a video message posted Saturday morning, Vanessa Pappas, TikTok’s U.S. general manager, said that TikTok had 1,500 employees in the United States.

“We’re not planning on going anywhere,” Ms. Pappas said.

This is a developing news story. Check back for updates.





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