Microsoft said in an August announcement that it continued takeover talks with ByteDance, but also agreed to involve USA officials in the discussions.
For the acquisition of TikTok's United States business, Microsoft was the front-runner but then other major companies started talks for the acquisition but the closest competition was from the software giant Oracle.
The company said it 'would have made significant changes to ensure the service met the highest standards for security, privacy, online safety, and combating disinformation'.
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"The vehicle can be sold, but not the engine", the source said. ByteDance declined to comment when asked about this detail by Reuters.
Meanwhile, China updated its rules for exporting tech last month, giving it a say over transferring TikTok's algorithm to a foreign buyer.
On August 6, Trump signed an executive order banning any USA transactions with ByteDance, set to take effect in 45 days.
He argued that TikTok could funnel data from its 100 million American users to the Chinese government.
It remains unclear whether Trump will approve their proposal for majority-ownership, which would represent a U-turn for the president and his administration.
At that point, Microsoft looked certain to buy out TikTok's American operations.
When asked whether the U.S. government would benefit from the deal, he replied that there is no legal way to ensure that the money from the TikTok deal goes to the government.