A weekslong debate about the future of TikTok — which is owned by Bejing-based tech firm ByteDance — came to a head over the weekend when US President Donald Trump threatened to ban the app from operating in the United States. Policymakers have repeatedly expressed concern that TikTok could pose a threat to national security should the data it collects on its US users end up in the hands of the Chinese government. TikTok, though, has said it stores its data outside of China and that it would resist any attempts by Beijing to seize the information.
By Monday, Trump said he would be open to allowing a US company to buy TikTok, albeit with the unusual caveat that any deal would have to include a "substantial amount of money" coming to the US Treasury. Washington State-based Microsoft(MSFT) has emerged as a potential buyer, and has said it is pursuing a purchase.