The biggest problem with Microsoft’s fractured TikTok deal

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Microsoft has six weeks to close one of the strangest deals in tech industry history. On Sunday, the company publicly announced it was in talks with President Trump to buy portions of TikTok from its Chinese parent company ByteDance. For months, Trump has been raising national security concerns about TikTok, even threatening to ban the app, and now he’s presenting a sale to Microsoft as a last chance effort to save it. If the deal goes through, it would give Microsoft a new vantage on social networks and solve a variety of US national security concerns around TikTok’s newfound popularity.

But there’s a problem at the heart of the deal that no one on either side has addressed — and it’s serious enough to doom the entire project if it…

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Author: Russell Brandom