A possible sale of Chinese-owned TikTok’s US operations to Microsoft is reportedly on hold after Donald Trump vowed to ban the video-sharing app.

A sale was thought close to agreement, but was put in doubt after the US president’s warning on Friday.

The Wall Street Journal said Microsoft had now paused talks despite TikTok owner ByteDance making last ditch efforts to win White House support.

It comes amid criticism of Mr Trump’s threat as an attack on free speech.

The popularity of the short-form video app has soared, with TikTok thought to have about half a billion active users worldwide – and about 80 million in the US – with a huge proportion of these in their teens or early 20s.

But some US politicians are worried the

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