TikTok is at the heart of a wild geopolitical dogfight which means Microsoft might buy it. Here’s what’s going on.

  • News broke on Friday that ByteDance-owner TikTok is being pressured by the Trump administration to divest its US business, and Microsoft was in the running to buy it up.
  • Trump then said on Friday he was banning the app, possibly as soon as Saturday. The ban has yet to materialize.
  • Trump’s comments reportedly halted Microsoft’s acquisition talks, but on Sunday Microsoft announced it was resuming discussions with TikTok.
  • Here’s everything we know so far.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

TikTok has had a turbulent 72 hours.

The wildly popular short video app has become the subject of increasing criticism in the US due to the fact it is owned by Chinese tech giant ByteDance, a fact which some officials and lawmakers including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo say make it a national security threat.

As US-China relations have deteriorated over the course of 2019 and 2020, TikTok is under mounting scrutiny. 

On Friday this pressure erupted, with President Trump telling reporters he would ban the app imminently. His comments coincided with reports that ByteDance was in talks to sell off part of TikTok to interested investors — most prominently Microsoft.

Here is a timeline of what’s been going on with TikTok:

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