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Photo: Narinder Nanu/AFP via Getty Images

Microsoft announced Sunday it would pursue discussions with TikTok’s parent company ByteDance "in a matter of weeks" about buying the app in the U.S. following conversations between President Trump and the tech giant's CEO Satya Nadella.

Details: Microsoft said in a blog post the two firms are exploring a preliminary proposal that would see Microsoft buy the TikTok service in Canada, Australia and New Zealand as well as the U.S. "During this process, Microsoft looks forward to continuing dialogue with the United States Government, including with the President," the post noted.

"Microsoft appreciates the U.S. Government's and President Trump’s personal involvement as it continues to develop strong security protections for the country."
  • Microsoft said it is committed to acquiring TikTok "subject to a complete security review and providing proper economic benefits" to the U.S., including the Treasury.
  • It may invite other American investors to participate on a minority basis in the potential purchase.
  • Microsoft hopes to complete discussions "no later than September 15."

Why it matters: Trump said Friday night that he planned to ban TikTok as India has done, over concerns that the app could be sharing U.S. user data with the Chinese government.

  • Axios' Dan Primack reported Saturday that Trump had a "deal on his desk," whereby Microsoft would lead an acquisition of 100% of TikTok's U.S. operations. Republican sources told Axios earlier Sunday that Trump may allow Microsoft to make the purchase if there's "complete separation" from the original Beijing-based company.

Of note: Microsoft said in its statement that, among other measures, it would "ensure that all private data of TikTok’s American users is transferred to and remains in the United States."

"To the extent that any such data is currently stored or backed-up outside the United States, Microsoft would ensure that this data is deleted from servers outside the country after it is transferred."
— Excerpt from Microsoft's statement

Go deeper: What a Microsoft deal to buy TikTok would look like

Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details throughout.

Go deeper

Miriam Kramer, author of Space
Oct 20, 2020 - Science

Microsoft and SpaceX partner up to deliver broadband via Starlink satellites


Photo: AaronP/Bauer-Griffin via Getty Images

Microsoft is getting into the space game.

Why it matters: Huge amounts of data pour in from space to Earth each day, and the tech heavyweight sees an opportunity to capitalize on that big data and the growing markets for it.

U.S. vs. Google — the siege begins

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The Justice Department fired the starter pistol on what's likely to be a years-long legal siege of Big Tech by the U.S. government when it filed a major antitrust suit Tuesday against Google.

The big picture: Once a generation, it seems, federal regulators decide to take on a dominant tech company. Two decades ago, Microsoft was the target; two decades before that, IBM.

16 mins ago - World

Belgium imposes lockdown, citing "health emergency" due to influx of COVID-19 cases

Belgium Prime Minister Alexander De Croo. Photo: THIERRY ROGE/BELGA MAG/AFP via Getty Images

Belgium is enforcing a strict lockdown starting Sunday amid rising coronavirus infections, hospital admissions and a surge of deaths, Prime Minister Alexander De Croo announced on Friday.

Why it matters: De Croo said the government saw no choice but to lock down "to ensure that our health care system does not collapse." Scientists and health officials said deaths have doubled every six days, per the Guardian.

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