WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Donald Trump wants to deny China some of the proceeds from the sale of ByteDance’s U.S. operations of its video-sharing app TikTok, White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said on Wednesday, but it would be unusual for any company that acquires TikTok to provide funds to the U.S. Treasury.
“Well he’s said that,” Kudlow told CNBC when asked about Trump’s demand that part of the proceeds from the TikTok sale he has ordered go to the U.S. Treasury.
“I acknowledge that it’s unusual. The president has his own mind on some of these things,” Kudlow said.
“I don’t know whether that will end up being the case when the Treasury gets its bids in from potential bidders. But the president has said that. I think he probably would like to deny China some of the proceeds of the TikTok sale,” Kudlow added.
Trump ordered ByteDance last week to divest TikTok’s U.S. operations within 90 days, the latest effort to ramp up pressure on the Chinese company over concerns about the safety of the personal data it handles.
Trump has said he would support an effort by Microsoft Corp to buy TikTok’s American operations if the U.S. government gets a “substantial portion” of the proceeds, but has also said there are other interested potential buyers.
Oracle Corp has joined some of the investors of TikTok’s Chinese owner ByteDance in pursuing a bid for the app’s operations in North America, Australia and New Zealand, according to people familiar with the matter.
(Reporting by Tim Ahmann; Writing by Mohammad Zargham; Editing by Eric Beech and Will Dunham)