It is now speculated that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is pressured President Donald Trump to investigate the danger of TikTok.
The Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday that Zuckerberg apparently met privately with Trump in October 2019 over dinner during which he discussed the “risks of Chinese technology companies”, especially how those companies could harm American companies such as Facebook.
Zuckerberg apparently specifically mentioned TikTok, the Chinese social media platform that is now in Trump’s sights.
Facebook could potentially benefit from a U.S. ban on the use of TikTok, something Trump plans unless the company sells its U.S. interests to a U.S. company like Microsoft or Oracle.
TikTok already has more than 100 million users in America and is especially popular among young people.
Facebook unveiled its own version of TikTok within Instagram earlier this month.
Meanwhile reported Reuters ByteDance, the Chinese technology company that owns TikTok, plans to pool its own investors to buy the platform’s US operations.
ByteDance has been in press talks with several US companies over the past few weeks to divest its US stake in TikTok.
Trump ordered ByteDance to do so, or he barred the app in America.
Trump claims TikTok, like Huawei, poses a risk to Americans given that both companies are Chinese.
If all goes according to plan, ByteDance’s existing shareholders, including investment firm General Atlantic, will retain a controlling stake in the “new” TikTok while a US company such as Microsoft owns a minority stake.
The value of the stake in TikTok for sale is between $25 billion and $30 billion.