US' goal was not to force sale of TikTok US, but ban app, China's ByteDance says in internal letter

# 04 August 2020 16:03 (UTC +04:00)

The CEO of the Chinese firm ByteDance, the manufacturer of the wildly popular short-video app TikTok, has told employees in an internal letter that the US' primary goal was not to force the sale of the app, but rather ban it altogether, APA reports citing Sputnik.

Mentioning the anti-China sentiment that "has risen in many countries in the last two years," the tech firm's founder and head Zhang Yiming said the current circumstances mean the company should anticipate more difficulties in the foreseeable future.

President Donald Trump has meanwhile purportedly approved a 45-day window for ByteDance to agree to sell TikTok to Microsoft Corp, according to three people familiar with the potential deal, as quoted by Reuters. The time frame is expected to serve as a transition period for Microsoft to develop technology for TikTok that will be completely separate from ByteDance, one of the sources explained the other day.

US officials have continuously argued that the social media platform TikTok under its Chinese owner could pose a national threat to the country due to the specifics of the personal data it handles in its operations.

The major task is understood to be separating TikTok's technology from ByteDance's infrastructure and access, so as to effectively alleviate the US's growing concerns about the integrity of personal data.