Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg had zero influence on the Trump Administration's decision to ban TikTok unless it is sold to a US company, White House adviser Peter Navarro told CNBC’s “Squawk Box”, refuting an earlier report by the Wall Street Journal on the tech giant's alleged influence in the matter.
"I am always amazed how these stories pop up, but that one for me has zero credibility because I know he [Zuckerberg] had nothing to do with what happened here in the White House," Navarro affirmed.
The Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday citing sources familiar with the matter that Zuckerberg had warned President Trump at a White House dinner last October about the direct threat Chinese tech companies could pose for US businesses and the nation's technological dominance, pointing out TikTok in particular as not having the same commitment to freedom of expression that Facebook has.
TikTok Ban in US
US President Donald Trump has threatened to ban TikTok and WeChat by 15 September if they are not sold to a US company. Trump alleged that the widely popular application could harvest data for Beijing.
On Sunday, TikTok's parent company, ByteDance, announced it was raising a legal case against the White House for the executive order banning transactions between the app and the Beijing-based company.
The company accused the Trump administration of attempts to meddle in private business negotiations.
ByteDance is currently in talks with Microsoft and Oracle on the possible sale of TikTok. According to US media reports, Microsoft has emerged as the main bidder for TikTok while Twitter has also held talks with ByteDance.