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China? Microsoft? Trump? Ok, Boomer, Here’s A Primer On What’s Going On With TikTok




In this photo illustration, the Tik Tok app is displayed on an Apple iPhone on November 01, 2019 in San Anselmo, California.
In this photo illustration, the Tik Tok app is displayed on an Apple iPhone on November 01, 2019 in San Anselmo, California.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

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The latest twist in the TikTok saga is an especially strange turn in a tale filled with strange turns. Suddenly, Microsoft - known primarily for work software like Windows and Office -  is in talks  to buy the popular Chinese-owned video app, which has raised national-security concerns for U.S. officials.

The U.S. government is effectively forcing ByteDance, TikTok’s owner, to sell so it can salvage the app in the U.S., a huge and valuable market. President Donald Trump has threatened a “ban” on TikTok and other administration officials and U.S. lawmakers of both parties have said the app's Chinese ownership is a concern.

It’s unclear what shape such a ban would take or whether the sale will go through. TikTok’s users are posting videos saying they are upset and angry. 

AirTalk dives into theTikTok saga and provides a primer for those unfamiliar with COVID-19’s most popular social media app.

With files from the Associated Press

Guests:

Mike Isaac, technology correspondent for the New York Times; he is the author of “Super Pumped: The Battle for Uber”; he tweets @MikeIsaac

Wendy Lee, digital media reporter for the L.A. Times covering the growing influence of tech giants; she tweets @thewendylee