20:26 GMT06 May 2021
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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The Trump administration will remain wary of popular video sharing app TikTok even if Microsoft and other US tech companies bought into the Chinese firm, White House adviser Peter Navarro said on Monday.

    "Microsoft through its Bing search engine... now operates in China through Skype calls that effectively are enablers of Chinese censorship surveillance and monitoring. Microsoft, Yahoo, Cisco [and] other American companies in the tech land help China build its great firewall, which is used basically... to imprison Chinese citizens", Navarro told Fox News when asked if the deal should go through.

    "Can we trust any company that operates in China, has servers [and] software in China, to protect your children? That's a question I think that needs to be asked", he added.

    Navarro further elaborated that such deals do not automatically eliminate the threat of China’s surveillance on all things American.

    China's civil and military fusion requires any foreign company operating on Chinese soil to give them their data, he said. So the question, Navarro added, is whether it is prudent to sell TikTok to any company with operations in China that might be compromised and thereby "get us into the same problem we have now".

    Earlier in the day, Microsoft said it plans to finish negotiations with ByteDance, the parent company of TikTok, on the purchase of the Chinese-based video-sharing app no later than 15 September. Meanwhile, President Donald Trump has threatened to ban TikTok from the US over privacy concerns.

    President Donald Trump told reporters on Friday that he was planning to ban TikTok, which is a potential competitor for social networks like YouTube and Facebook, from operating in the United States, although he said his administration was considering alternative options as well.

    Microsoft said in its pursuit of a deal with TikTok comes after talks between its Chief Executive Officer Satya Nadella and Trump. It added that TikTok will be subject to "a complete security review and all private data of TikTok’s American users will be transferred to the United States". Microsoft said this was to ensure transparency and as well as government oversight.

    Peter Navarro, adviser, Microsoft, TikTok, US
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