ByteDance, the Chinese parent company of wildly popular TikTok, has offered to sell the app's US operations as a way to avert a ban by the government of President Donald Trump, according to media reports.

Earlier, media reports had suggested Mr Trump would require that the US operations of the app be divested from ByteDance, but he instead announced a ban.

But a New York Times report, citing an unnamed source familiar with the matter, goes further to say that ByteDance has offered to do so.

The proposed divestment would not necessarily affect TikTok's operations outside the United States, the report said.

TikTok, especially popular with young audiences who create and watch its short-form videos, has an estimated one billion users worldwide.

US officials have raised concerns that it could be used as a tool for Chinese intelligence -- a claim the firm has repeatedly denied.

"While we do not comment on rumors or speculation, we are confident in the long-term success of TikTok," the company said when asked for comment on the Times report.

News agency Reuters is reporting that Microsoft is in advanced talks to buy TikTok.

Yesterday, President Trump said that he would ban the fast-growing social media app from the United States.

Speaking to reporters on Air Force One, Mr Trump said: "As far as TikTok is concerned, we're banning them from the United States."

He added he would take action as soon as today using emergency economic power or an executive order.

Mr Trump's move comes following a review by the Committee on Foreign Investment (CFIUS) in the United States, which investigates deals affecting US national security.


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The company had pledged a high level of transparency, including allowing reviews of its algorithms, to assure users and regulators.

"We are not political, we do not accept political advertising and have no agenda - our only objective is to remain a vibrant, dynamic platform for everyone to enjoy," TikTok CEO Kevin Mayer said in post this week.

"TikTok has become the latest target, but we are not the enemy."

The popularity of the platform surged after ByteDance acquired US-based app Musical.ly in 2017 and merged it with its own video service.

James Lewis, head of the technology policy programme at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said he believes the security risk of using TikTok is "close to zero" but that ByteDance could face pressure from China to engage in censorship.

"It looks like ByteDance may be getting squeezed by Beijing, so making them divest makes sense," Mr Lewis said. "They could start censoring stuff."

Mr Lewis said US authorities under CFIUS have the power to unwind an acquisition previously approved and that a similar action was taken in 2019 with the dating app Grindr after it was bought by a Chinese firm.