In a separate statement issued Friday night after Trump's announcement, TikTok said more than 100 million Americans use the app for "entertainment and connection", especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.
But this situation is different because of the involvement of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. (CFIUS), which has been reviewing ByteDance's 2017 acquisition of U.S. app Musical.ly and eventually merged with TikTok.
Under ByteDance's new proposal, Microsoft, which also owns professional social media network LinkedIn, will be in charge of protecting all of TikTok's U.S. user data, the sources said.
"While we do not comment on rumors or speculation, we are confident in the long-term success of TikTok", TikTok said in a statement. It has said it has tens of millions of U.S. users and hundreds of millions globally.
TikTok's fun, goofy videos and ease of use has made it immensely popular, and USA tech giants like Facebook and Snapchat see it as a competitive threat. TikTok creators in the U.S. have been scrambling to make sense of the whole kerfluffle, urging followers to migrate with them to other services like Instagram, and even creating new accounts with Canadian email addresses to try to work around a ban, one that may well be long on bluster and short on an actual effective ban.
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For the USA government, the platform's Chinese ownership has raised concerns about the censorship of videos, including those critical of the Chinese government or supportive of causes such as democracy in Hong Kong.
United States lawmakers have raised intelligence and privacy concerns about the company's ownership. Just before boarding a helicopter - the noise of its blades threatening to drown him out - Trump told reporters: "We're looking at TikTok".
It's unclear how TikTok or ByteDance would respond to either of the president's directives, but issuing an executive order would represent an escalation in the Trump administration's attacks on TikTok and other Chinese tech companies. "We appreciate the support", she said, adding, "We're here for the long run". We may be doing some other things.
"In its current form, TikTok represents a potential threat to personal privacy and our national security". TikTok's biggest investors come from the US.
According to informants, ByteDance values TikTok at more than $50 billion and insists on retaining a certain share of the enterprise. TikTok US user data is stored in the US, with strict controls on employee access.