President Donald Trump has agreed to give China’s ByteDance 45 days to negotiate a sale of popular short-video app TikTok to Microsoft, three people familiar with the matter said on Sunday.
In an earlier interview with Fox News Channel, Navarro said any potential buyer of TikTok that has operations in China could be a problem.
Navarro cited Microsoft’s Bing search engine and Skype platform, saying they “effectively are enablers of Chinese censorship, surveillance and monitoring”.
While the company has been there for decades, business from China accounts for just over one percent of the company’s revenue, Bloomberg reported Microsoft President and Chief Legal Officer Brad Smith stating at a conference in January.
Widespread piracy of Windows and Office once prevented the company’s cash cow from bringing in money.
The company is now pushing its Azure cloud service to customers in China, via a partnership with local data service provider 21Vianet.
Its crown jewel is arguably a research center in Beijing, which has produced a number of alumni who have gone on to executive positions at Alibaba, ByteDance, Xiaomi, and facial recognition unicorns Sensetime and Megvii.