TikTok responds to Trump's decision and threatens with legal action

TikTok responds to Trump's decision and threatens with legal action

The FINANCIAL -- President Trump agreed to allow Microsoft Corp negotiate the purchase of TikTok, only if they can have a deal in 45 days. TikTok thinks that Executive Order risks undermining global businesses' trust in the United States and it sets a dangerous precedent for the concept of free expression and open markets. Popular app said that it will pursue all available remedies in order to ensure that the rule of law is not discarded and that the company and the users are treated fairly – if not by the Administration, then by the US courts.

President Trump issued two executive orders late Thursday against China-based TikTok and messaging app WeChat, citing national security concerns in a sweeping order that could prevent the companies from doing most business in the United States. The orders take effect in 45 days and prohibit any U.S. company or person from transacting with ByteDance, TikTok’s Chinese parent company, or WeChat. While the nature of the banned transactions are not specific, it may mean the companies would not be able to appear on Apple’s App Store or Google’s Play Store in the United States. It also could make it illegal for U.S. companies to purchase advertising on TikTok, as reported by The Washington Post.

The move turns up the pressure on negotiations over the popular video app's future through a potential sale. The dramatic back and forth began when Trump said last Friday night that he would ban TikTok from operating in the United States using emergency economic powers or an executive order. Microsoft said Sunday that it was pushing forward with talks to acquire the app following a conversation between CEO Satya Nadella and the President. On Monday, Trump set September 15 as the deadline for TikTok to find a US buyer. Failing to do so, he said, would lead him to shut down the app in the country. In an unusual declaration, Trump also said any deal would have to include a "substantial amount of money" coming to the US Treasury, CNN wrote.

Today, TikTok released statement about Trump's decision. Company is shocked by the recent Executive Order, which was issued without any due process. For nearly a year, it has sought to engage with the US government in good faith to provide a constructive solution to the concerns that have been expressed.

"What we encountered instead was that the Administration paid no attention to facts, dictated terms of an agreement without going through standard legal processes, and tried to insert itself into negotiations between private businesses," reads popular app's statement.

According to TikTok this Executive Order risks undermining global businesses' trust in the United States' commitment to the rule of law, which has served as a magnet for investment and spurred decades of American economic growth. And it sets a dangerous precedent for the concept of free expression and open markets. App will pursue all available remedies in order to ensure that the rule of law is not discarded and that the company and the users are treated fairly – if not by the Administration, then by the US courts.

TikTok encourages 100 million Americans to express their opinions to their elected representatives, including the White House.

Mr Trump issued a similar order against China's WeChat in a major escalation in Washington's stand-off with Beijing. WeChat's owner, Tencent, said: "We are reviewing the executive order to get a full understanding." As well as WeChat, Tencent is also a leading gaming company and its investments include a 40% stake in Epic Games - the company behind the hugely popular Fortnite video game, BBC reported.

Following a conversation between Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and President Donald J. Trump, Microsoft is prepared to continue discussions to explore a purchase of TikTok in the United States. Microsoft will move quickly to pursue discussions with TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, in a matter of weeks, and in any event completing these discussions no later than September 15, 2020. During this process, Microsoft looks forward to continuing dialogue with the United States Government, including with the President, as stated by Microsoft.

The discussions with ByteDance will build upon a notification made by Microsoft and ByteDance to the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS). The two companies have provided notice of their intent to explore a preliminary proposal that would involve a purchase of the TikTok service in the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand and would result in Microsoft owning and operating TikTok in these markets. Microsoft may invite other American investors to participate on a minority basis in this purchase.

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Author: The FINANCIAL