FILE PHOTO: White House adviser Peter Navarro speaks to reporters outside the West Wing in Washington, U.S. July 3, 2020. REUTERS/Erin Scott
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – White House trade adviser Peter Navarro suggested on Monday that Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O) could divest its holdings in China if it were to buy the Chinese owned short-video app TikTok.
“So the question is, is Microsoft going to be compromised?” Navarro said in an interview with CNN. “Maybe Microsoft could divest its Chinese holdings?”
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.
U.S. officials have said TikTok, under its Chinese parent, poses a national risk because of the personal data it handles. Trump said on Friday he was planning to ban TikTok in the United States after dismissing the idea of a sale to Microsoft.
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.”
Reporting by Doina Chiacu, Susan Heavey and Pete Schroeder, Editing by Rosalba O’Brien and Nick Zieminski