Microsoft in advanced talks to buy TikTok's US business

FILE - This Feb. 25, 2020, file photo, shows the icon for TikTok in New York.   President Donald Trump will order Chinas ByteDance to sell its hit video app TikTok because of national-security concerns, according to reports published Friday, July 31, 2020. We are looking at TikTok," Trump told reporters Friday at the White House. "We may be banning TikTok. (AP Photo/File)
FILE - This Feb. 25, 2020, file photo, shows the icon for TikTok in New York. President Donald Trump will order Chinas ByteDance to sell its hit video app TikTok because of national-security concerns, according to reports published Friday, July 31, 2020. We are looking at TikTok," Trump told reporters Friday at the White House. "We may be banning TikTok. (AP Photo/File) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

NEW YORK – Microsoft is in advanced talks to buy the U.S. operations of TikTok, the popular Chinese-owned video app that has been a source of national security and censorship concerns, according to a person familiar with the discussions who spoke only on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity to the negotiations.

The potential deal would be a victory for both companies, making Microsoft Corp. a major player in the social media arena and providing relief to TikTok and its parent company, Bytedance Ltd., a target of President Donald Trump's.

Trump said Friday that he would take action as soon as Saturday to ban TikTok in the United States. Trump’s comments on Friday aboard Air Force One came after published reports that the administration is planning to order China’s ByteDance to sell TikTok.

“As far as TikTok is concerned, we’re banning them from the United States,” Trump told reporters Friday on Air Force One as he returned from Florida.

Trump said he could use emergency economic powers or an executive order to enforce the action, insisting, “I have that authority.” He added, "It’s going to be signed tomorrow.”

Microsoft declined to comment.

Reports by Bloomberg News and the Wall Street Journal citing anonymous sources said the administration could soon announce a decision ordering ByteDance to divest its ownership in TikTok.

There have been reports of U.S. tech giants and financial firms being interested in buying or investing in TikTok as the Trump administration sets its sights on the app. The New York Times and Fox Business, citing an unidentified source, first reported Friday that Microsoft is in talks to buy TikTok.