San Francisco –

For months the United States government has seen the application TikTok as a security risk, but it seems that the social network will not give up so easily.

"We are here to stay," Vanessa Pappas, head of the US branch of the popular TikTok app, said Saturday after President Donald Trump announced that he would ban the Chinese-based company from activity in his country.

"We have heard your growing support and we want to thank you. We have no plans to leave," he insisted in a video posted on the app and aimed at calming concerned users.

"We are here to stay. Keep making your voice heard and keep supporting TikTok!" Pappas said.

This reaction takes place after the daily The New York Times He said on Saturday that ByteDance, the Chinese parent company of TikTok, has offered to sell the US branch as the United States government intends, in its suspicion of protecting confidential data.

Several media outlets claim that the technology giant Microsoft It is in advanced negotiations to buy TikTok, an entertainment video application that has almost a billion users worldwide.

"Although we did not comment on speculation, we are confident in Tiktok's long-term success" in the United States, the group responded.

After weeks of rumors and pressure, President Trump announced Friday that he was going to ban social media activity in his country.

The White House had indicated hours earlier that Trump was preparing to sign an official order to compel ByteDance to separate from TikTok, in the name of protecting national security.

Washington suspects that the US firm may be used by Chinese intelligence to carry out espionage and steal secret data, which the company has always firmly denied.

US officials and lawmakers have also expressed concern about the possibility of TikTok being used for those purposes.

Its popularity has grown even more amid the months of pandemic and social distancing.

"We must be alert to the risk of private and confidential data being transferred to abusive governments, including ours," Jennifer Granick of the powerful civil rights organization ACLU warned on the matter on Saturday.

However, he stressed that "banning a platform, even if legally possible, hurts online freedom of expression and does nothing to address the broader problem of unwarranted government surveillance." (I)

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