TikTok has reportedly chosen a bidder for the sale of its US arm – as White House trade adviser Peter Navarro warned that the United States will target more Chinese-made apps.
Sources familiar with the deal told CNBC on Monday that TikTok could announce the sale of the popular video app as early as tomorrow.
Microsoft, in partnership with Walmart, and Oracle are considered to be the top contenders for the sale.
President Donald Trump earlier this month threatened to ban TikTok in the US if it was not sold to a US buyer within 45 days in an effort to separate the social media upstart from its Chinese parent ByteDance.
Navarro, one of Trump’s trade advisers, said the US had more Chinese-made apps in its sights after TikTok and WeChat.
TikTok has reportedly chosen a bidder for the sale of its US arm and the deal could be announced as early as tomorrow, source have said
‘It is critical that this country not use apps that are made in China, or that can take our data and go to servers in China. That data will be used to surveil, monitor and track you,’ Navarro told Fox News‘ Mornings with Maria.
‘That’s the policy position underlying why we have gone after TikTok and WeChat and there will be others because China… is basically going out around the world trying to acquire technology and influence.’
Despite the reports that TikTok has now chosen a bidder, the deal could potentially be derailed by the Chinese government after they published new rules on Friday that added ‘civilian use’ to a list of technologies that are restricted for export.
The new regulations could make it more difficult for Bytedance to sell the wildly popular video app.
Bytedance said the regulations now mean they must obtain a license from the Chinese government before they can sell to a US company.
The company said it would ‘strictly abide’ by China’s technology law and its list of restrictions ‘to handle business relating to the import and export of technology’.
The move marked the first time China has adjusted its list of technologies subject to export bans or restrictions since 2008 by adding 23 new items.
It comes after TikTok CEO Kevin Mayer quit last week just days after the company filed a lawsuit challenging the crackdown by the US government.
TikTok argued in the suit that Trump’s executive order was a misuse of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act because the platform is not ‘an unusual and extraordinary threat’.
White House trade adviser Peter Navarro warned on Monday that the United States will target more Chinese-made apps after TikTok and WeChat
The Trump administration has argued that TikTok is a potential national security risk due to the vast amount of private data the app is compiling on US consumers. TikTok claims about 100 million monthly active users in the United States.
Walmart last week became the latest company to want a piece of TikTok after making a joint bid with Microsoft.
Microsoft and Walmart are already business partners. Microsoft provides cloud computing services that help run the retailer’s stores and online shopping. The two companies signed a 5-year partnership in 2018, enabling them to join forces against a shared rival: online shopping giant Amazon.
Walmart said in a statement that a deal with Microsoft and TikTok could help it expand its advertising business and reach more shoppers.
Other tech companies such as Oracle are also reportedly interested in a possible acquisition.
While ByteDance hasn’t disclosed its asking price for TikTok, the Wall Street Journal reported last week that it is seeking roughly $30 billion for TikTok’s US operations.
The Journal reported that bidders so far haven’t been willing to meet that price.
According to a Reuters/Ipsos national poll released on Monday, 40 percent of Americans back Trump’s threat to ban the videosharing app if it is not sold to a US buyer.
The poll, which surveyed 1,349 adult respondents across the US, found that 40 percent backed Trump’s recent executive order forcing ByteDance to sell its TikTok operations by September 15.
Thirty percent of the respondents said they opposed the move, while another 30 percent said they didn’t know either way.