Trump says Gov deserves share of TikTok’s sale, Snapchat rushes for replacement

US President-elect Donald Trump. (File Photo: Xinhua/IANS)

US President Donald Trump has said that the country should get a large percentage of the proceeds if part of the short video-sharing platform TikTok’s business is bought by an American firm.

Trump said that he made the demand that a “substantial portion” of that price should come into the US Treasury during a conversation with Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella over the weekend.

Microsoft on Sunday confirmed that it wanted to proceed with talks to purchase the US business of TikTok.

The discussion between the Microsoft CEO and the US President led to setting a date for closure of the deal around September 15.

If such a deal does not materialise, TikTok will be out of business in the US by that time, Trump said.

“I said a very substantial portion of that price is going to have to come into the Treasury of the United States because we’re making it possible for this deal to happen,” Trump said in a meeting with US tech workers on Monday.

He even explained the rationale behind his demand.

“It’s a little bit like the landlord/tenant: Without a lease, the tenant has nothing. So they pay what’s called ‘key money,’ or they pay something,” Trump said.

“But the United States should be reimbursed or should be paid a substantial amount of money, because without the United States, they don’t have anything — at least having to do with the 30 per cent,” he said.

Trump said he does not mind if Microsoft, or any other “secure” American company, buys TikTok’s business in the US and he also shared the observation with the Microsoft CEO that that it is “probably easier to buy the whole thing than to buy 30 per cent of it.”

TikTok, owned by Chinese unicorn ByteDance, is facing scrutiny over its data sharing practices.

The Trump administration has raised allegations that TikTok provided users data to Chinese government.

Both Beijing and TikTok have denied the allegations.

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This Wednesday, Aug. 9, 2017, photo shows the Snapchat app on a mobile device in New York. Snap Inc. reports earnings Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2018. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

Snapchat testing new feature to take on TikTok

Photo-messaging app Snapchat has started testing a new feature that lets users set their Snaps with music, similar to what Chinese short-video making app TikTok offers.

Snap, the parent company of Snapchat, has inked music rights deals with several major companies, including Warner Music Group, Universal Music Publishing Group and Merlin, reports CNET.

The new feature will let user’s friends send ‘Snaps’ with music and one will be able to view the album art, song title and name of the artist.

In addition, there will also be a ‘Play This Song’ option that opens a web view to Linkfire so one can listen to the full song on a streaming platform like Spotify, Apple Music and SoundCloud.

“We’re always looking for new ways to give Snapchatters creative tools to express themselves. Music is a new dimension they can add to their Snaps, that helps capture feelings and moments they want to share with their real friends,” the report quoted a company spokesperson as saying.

The new feature is set to roll out to this fall in the US as well as Canada and Australia.

Instagram has also rolled out its TikTok-like clone functionality called Reels, that is available in India in the testing phase.

Google-owned YouTube is working on a TikTok rival called Shorts, to be introduced by the end of this year.

Meanwhile, Microsoft has confirmed it is in talks to acquire the operations of video-sharing platform TikTok in the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand markets following a conversation between Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and President Donald Trump.


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