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The best true wireless earbuds of 2020

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In terms of sheer numbers sold, Apple’s AirPods have dominated the market for true wireless earbuds for the past few years. But plenty of new models have come on the scene that deliver better sound and improved battery life and performance. And now there are many appealing totally wireless earbuds to choose from — with even more on the way.

We’ve got lists of the best-sounding true wireless earbuds and the best cheap true wireless earbuds. This list is, simply, the best true wireless earbuds. Remember that to get optimal performance, the best wireless earbuds tend to need to feel comfortable, with an ergonomic design, and fit right, with a tight seal. If you can’t get a snug fit with in-ear headphones, you’ll be sadly disappointed and think you got ripped off, which is why I suggest buying your pair of wireless earbuds from a vendor with a decent return policy, such as Amazon. We’ll update this list regularly as we review new products.

Read more: Best noise-canceling headphones of 2020


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Sarah Tew/CNET

The second-generation Momentum True Wireless 2, available now for preorder and shipping in April, aren’t cheap at $300, but they’re better all around than the originals, with a slightly smaller, more comfortable design, great audio quality, active noise canceling that rivals that of the AirPod Pro, improved battery life (up to seven hours versus the original’s four) and better noise reduction during calls. And, if you don’t like them in black, a white version is slated to follow later this year. Most importantly, though, the Momentum True Wireless 2 have the same stellar sound — for true wireless earbuds, anyway — offering clearly superior sound quality to the AirPods Pro. That makes them arguably the best true wireless earbuds on the market today and earns them a CNET Editors’ Choice Award.

These use Bluetooth 5.1 with support for the AAC and AptX codecs (for devices that have AptX like Samsung’s Galaxy smartphones). 

Water-resistantYes (IPX4 rating — splashproof). 

Read the Sennheiser Momentum Wireless 2 review.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Even if they don’t sound as magical as you’d hope a $249 model would, the AirPods Pro still manage to be a great pair of truly wireless earphones. That’s largely due to their winning design and fit, improved bass performance, effective noise canceling and excellent call quality. Yeah, Apple AirPods are expensive at $250, but the good news is you’ll use them so much you’ll probably wear the battery down — it does degrade over time and isn’t replaceable — and have to buy a new pair in 18 to 24 months if you don’t lose them first. 

Water-resistantYes (IPX4 rating — splash-proof).

Read our Apple AirPods Pro review.

At first glance, the Elite 75t, which were originally supposed to cost $200 but now sell for $180 (£170 and AU$299), seem more like an evolutionary upgrade from the highly rated Elite 65t. But the updates turn out to be a little more substantial than I first thought. The Elite 75t’s smaller size (the buds and case are 20% smaller than the Elite 65t’s), their boosted battery life and USB-C charging are significant upgrades. And then there are the smaller changes, like the new charging case design with magnets inside that make it easier to open and close and to keep the buds inside. While the Elite 75t aren’t quite as comfortable to wear as the AirPods Pro and don’t have active noise canceling, they do sound better, with clearer overall sound and better bass audio quality definition, so long as you get a tight seal.

Water-resistantYes (IP55 rating — can withstand heavy sprays of water).

Read our Jabra Elite 75t review.

Angela Lang/CNET

Samsung’s Buds Plus look essentially the same as the original Galaxy Buds, but their battery life is rated at 11 hours for music playback (up from 6), and they pack dual drivers for better sound and an additional microphone in each bud to help with external noise reduction while making calls.

I was impressed with the sound. It’s detailed and smooth, with deep, well-defined bass. The sound is richer and more spacious than that of the original Galaxy Buds. Well-respected Austrian audio company AKG, which Samsung acquired when it bought Harman, is behind the audio. While the original Buds were also “tuned” by AKG, these are a nice upgrade over the originals — and right there with what you get with the Jabra Elite 75t, if not even a touch better. They use Bluetooth 5.0 and support for AAC (there’s now an app for iOS users) and Samsung’s scalable codec, which is similar to aptX but is proprietary to Samsung Galaxy smartphones.  

Water-resistantYes (IPX4 rating — splash-proof).

Read our Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus review.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Sony hasn’t been much of a player in the true wireless (AirPod-style) headphone arena, but its new WF-1000XM3 model may change that. While this pair of headphones isn’t cheap, as far as sound quality, they’re the best wireless earbuds in this price range, matching and perhaps even exceeding the quality and performance of pricier competitors from SennheiserBeatsMaster & Dynamic and Bang & Olufsen. They also have a feature those wireless earbuds don’t have: active noise cancellation technology to reduce ambient noise.

The only drawback is the WF-1000XM3 earbuds aren’t rated as sweat-proof or waterproof headphones. That said, I’ve used them for light workouts with a bit of a sweat at the gym without a problem. They use Bluetooth 5.0 with support for AAC but not aptX.

Water-resistant: No (lacks IPX certification).

Read our Sony WF-1000XM3 review.

Sarah Tew/CNET

What’s most impressive about the EarFun Free is the features: Bluetooth 5.0, both USB-C and wireless charging and fully waterproof (IPX7), according to their specs. Do they sound fantastic? No, but these earphones sound pretty good. They don’t have the clarity of higher-end true wireless earbuds that cost $150 or more, but they do have plump bass and enough detail to avoid sounding dull. They’re also pretty solid for making calls. An excellent value for less than $50.

Water-resistantYes (IPX7 rating — fully waterproof).

Read CNET first take.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Jaybird got off to a bumpy start in the world of true wireless — that’s “AirPod-style headphones” — when it released its Jaybird Run workout headphones back in October 2017. Updated to the wireless in-ear Jaybird Run XT earlier this year, the Jaybird Run earbuds were well designed but had some small performance issues that held them back from being great. But their wireless successor model, the Jaybird Vista (cue the Windows Vista jokes), include design, battery life and performance improvements that make them the quality product I’d hoped the Jaybird Run would be — and simply the best wireless earbuds for runners.

At $180 (£160, AU$280), this pair of sweat-proof earbuds are a little more expensive than they should be, but they’re among the better true wireless earbuds to hit the market last year. They’ll appeal to those looking for a more discreet set of totally wireless sports earbuds that feature full waterproofing.

Water-resistantYes (IPX7 — fully waterproof and sweat-proof).

Read the Jaybird Vista review.

Sarah Tew/CNET

The Libratone Track Air Plus has been out for several months in Europe, but only recently went on sale in the US (it lists for $200 but it’s currently selling on Amazon for $190 with a discount coupon for $10 off). It doesn’t sound quite as open to the ear as the AirPods Pro, but the audio is clearer and it has well-defined bass. You can choose between neutral, bass boost and treble settings in the companion app. The noise-canceling is also decent — maybe not quite on par with the AirPods Pro, but close. I liked the fit of these — the in-ear buds stayed in my ear well (I was able to run with them) and the case is only a little bigger than the AirPods Pro’s case.

The Track Air Plus works well as a headset for making calls, and a firmware upgrade did improve headset performance. That said, the noise reduction isn’t quite as good as that of the AirPods Pro. People said they could hear me clearly and loudly, but the earphones didn’t muffle background noise quite as well as the AirPods Pro. 

These use Bluetooth 5.0 and have support for AAC and aptX. 

Note that Libratone also makes the Track Air, which is $150 (Amazon is currently discounting it by $10 with a coupon) and doesn’t have noise-canceling features but is otherwise similar.

Water-resistantYes (IPX4 rating — sweat-resistant and splashproof).

Sarah Tew/CNET

If you can’t afford the Apple AirPods Pro, the Anker Soundcore Liberty Air 2 are a good alternative and are a top model for making calls. Like the AirPods Pro, this pair of Anker Soundcore earbuds do a remarkably good job of muffling ambient noise (callers said they could hear me fine even with a lot of street noise around me). While these Anker Soundcore earbuds don’t have active noise cancelling, they sound nearly as good, fit comfortably and their noise-isolating design passively seals out a lot of ambient noise. They cost only $100

Water-resistant: Yes (IPX5 rating — can withstand heavy sprays of water).

Read full review.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Yes, the Beats Powerbeats Pro’s jumbo charging case with its built-in battery is a notable drawback. But incorporating all the features that make Apple’s AirPods great while delivering richer sound and better battery life in a design that won’t fall out of your ear is a winning proposition. Just make sure you buy these Beats Powerbeats earphones somewhere that has a good return policy, in case you’re in the small minority who have ears that aren’t quite a match for them.

They use Bluetooth 5.0 with support for AAC but not aptX.

Water-resistant: Yes (IPX4 rating — splash-proof).

Read our Beats Powerbeats Pro review.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Anker is better known for its value headphones, but it’s trying to step into more premium territory with its Soundcore Liberty 2 Pro earbuds, which carry a list price of $150. From a design standpoint, these bluetooth earbuds share some similarities with Sony’s WF-1000XM3, though this Anker Soundcore model doesn’t have active noise cancellation. Anker says they have large 11mm drivers combined with Knowles Balanced Armature, with up to 8 hours of battery life on a single charge (32 total hours of playtime with the case) and noise-cancellation microphones to help reduce ambient sound so callers can hear you better. They charge via USB-C and also support wireless charging.

I’m not sure they sound quite as good as the Sony WF-1000XM3, but they certainly sound like premium true wireless earphones, with rich sound that includes powerful bass performance and lots of detail. Some people may have some quibbles over the fit — I had to supply my own XL tips to get a tight seal and found the Anker’s Soundcore Liberty Air 2 a little more comfortable — but the Soundcore Liberty 2 Pro are a good value. They also work very well for making calls (they do a good job reducing background sound).  

They use Bluetooth 5.0 with support for AAC and aptX.

Water-resistantYes (IPX4 rating — splash-proof).

Read more.

Sarah Tew/CNET

The second-generation Apple AirPods add a couple of small but key improvements to the original, including always-on voice recognition and a wireless charging case option. They’re also a quality device for making calls, indoors and out. 

The base model remains at $159 (£159, AU$249) while the version with the wireless charging case lists for $199 (£199, AU$319). However, you can often find both models for slightly cheaper online.

Water-resistant: No (lacks IPX certification).

Read our Apple AirPods 2019 review.

Sarah Tew/CNET

I don’t really know how stylish the 1More Stylish True Wireless earbuds are (yes, that’s their name), but they do sound good. With a list price of $100, they’re among the less expensive models on this list. 1More made a name for itself with its wired earbuds, the Triple Drivers, which sound great and were a good value when wired headphones were still a thing. The same clear, balanced sound is present in 1More’s first true wireless earbuds; they don’t sound as good as the Triple Drivers, but the audio quality is very good for true wireless.

These have more of an audiophile sound profile, with more “accurate” sound, so bass lovers may be a little disappointed, but I liked them. Of course, it helped that I was able to get a tight seal with one of the included sets of ear tips. However, the stabilizer fin did nothing for me — I just jammed the tip into my ear to get a secure fit. 

Their battery life is rated at up to 6.5 hours (expect closer to 5 battery hours if you’re listening to music at higher volumes), with an extra 17 hours or so of battery life available from the charging case. These use Bluetooth 5.0 with support for AAC and aptX.

Water-resistant: No (lacks IPX certification).

Read our 1More Stylish True Wireless review.

Sarah Tew/CNET

The Master & Dynamic MW07 Plus are the second generation of the company’s MW07. This pair of earbuds features greatly increased battery life (10 versus 3.5 hours), Bluetooth 5.0 and active noise-cancellation with two microphones on each bud. They may not fit everyone’s ear equally well, but they certainly have a distinct look, as well as very good sound and a great listening experience if you can get a tight seal. These in-ear headphones are known for more of an audiophile sound profile, with smooth, well-balanced sound and well-defined bass. 

Available in four color options, for $299, these wireless earbuds include a swanky chrome charging case that comes with a secondary pouch for safekeeping (yes, the case can get scratched up if you leave it in a bag). The case, with its built-in chargeable battery, gives you an additional three charges (it charges via USB-C). These have support for aptX (but not AAC) and have an extended range of more than 20 meters, according to Master & Dynamic.

Water-resistantYes (IPX5 rating — withstands sustained spray).

Read more.

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Fifa 21 gameplay trailer: Agile dribbling and new features

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There’s loads of changes to gameplay in the new Fifa game

The official gameplay trailer for Fifa 21 has been released showing off loads of new features.

The new game comes out in October and follows Fifa 20 which received a lot of criticism after its release last year, with some players unhappy about overpowered player abilities, bugs and glitches.

EA Sports – which makes the game – says Fifa 21 will reward players for their “creativity and control with new features, in the most intelligent Fifa gameplay to date”.

Let us know what you think of the changes in the comments.

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TikTok is reportedly planning to challenge the Trump Administration ban

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TikTok, the video-sharing app that’s moved to the center of the economic conflict between the US and China, is planning to challenge the executive order issued by President Donald Trump that would force the sale or ban the service in the United States.

According to a report from National Public Radio yesterday, TikTok could file a federal lawsuit challenging the order as soon as Tuesday. The lawsuit is expected to be filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California, where TikTok has its American headquarters.

TikTok will challenge the constitutionality of the ban and its underlying claims that the video sharing service represents a national security threat to the country, according to NPR’s report.

TikTok did not respond to a request for comment at the time of publication.

On Thursday, the President signed executive orders that put a 45-day deadline on American companies to unwind their business relationships with TikTok’s parent company, Bytedance, and with WeChat, the messaging service owned by Chinse tech giant, Tencent.

TikTok had already laid out its opposition to the executive order when news first broke that the President had signed it.

As TechCrunch reproted, the company said the order was “issued without any due process” and would risk “undermining global businesses’ trust in the United States’ commitment to the rule of law.” The mechanisms the White House wants to use to ban the app include the International Emergency Economic Powers Act and the National Emergencies Act. But claiming that the operations of a subsidiary of a foreign business on US soil constitutes a national emergency is highly unprecedented.

Under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, which was passed during the Iran hostage crisis in 1976, the President has sweeping authority to issue tariffs and suspend economic relationships with other companies.

Any challenge to the executive order needs to come soon, because Bytedance, TikTok’s parent company is also looking at how to unwind its US operations through a sale.

After the President’s executive order was announced, Microsoft said in a statement that it was in talks with Bytedance about acquiring TikTok.

Micrsofot said:

“Following a conversation between Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and President Donald J. Trump, Microsoft is prepared to continue discussions to explore a purchase of TikTok  in the United States. Microsoft fully appreciates the importance of addressing the President’s concerns. It is committed to acquiring TikTok subject to a complete security review and providing proper economic benefits to the United States, including the United States Treasury.”

Analysts and bankers have said that TikTok’s US business could be worth anywhere from $20 billion to $50 billion, thanks to the company’s user base of over 100 million customers in the US, according to reports in Fortune.

And other bidders are emerging for TikTok’s US business as well. According to The Wall Street Journal, TikTok has also engaged in preliminary discussions with Twitter over a possible combination.

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Trump advisers Mnuchin and Navarro fought over the fate of TikTok inside the Oval Office

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Navarro pushed back, demanding an outright ban of TikTok, while accusing Mnuchin of being soft on China, the people said, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss private discussions freely. The treasury secretary appeared taken aback, they said.

The ensuing argument — which was described by one of the people as a “knockdown, drag-out” brawl — was preceded by months of backroom dealings among investors, lobbyists and executives. Many of these stakeholders long understood the critical nature of establishing close connections with key figures in the Trump administration.

But over the past few weeks, they also were reminded of the unpredictable and precarious nature of business dealings under a Trump-led government — and how the winner of a heated debate in front of the president could help decide the fate of a multibillion-dollar deal that may reshape the technology business landscape for years to come.

Over the past two weeks, TikTok’s future has been publicly tossed about, first as it appeared the president would agree to a sale, then that he would ban it outright, then that he would allow a sale again — but only if a fee were paid to the U.S. Treasury.

Behind the scenes, an enormous amount of scrambling has happened in response to each twist and turn. And an executive order signed by the president Thursday night while on Air Force One — which would essentially shutter the U.S. operation of TikTok in 45 days unless it was sold — has sown more confusion about the future of one of the fastest-growing social media start-ups in the world. Few on the East or West coasts knew the order was coming.

The chaotic approach dates back to Trump’s days as a business executive, said Douglas Holtz-Eakin, president of the American Action Forum, a nonprofit, conservative issue advocacy group.

“It’s only effective in the moment, and it wears off in the long term,” said the former director of the Congressional Budget Office and former economic policy adviser to John McCain’s presidential campaign. “It’s hard for the business community to figure out the direction of our policies.”

White House spokesman Judd Deere said in a statement that the administration “is committed to protecting the American people from all cyber related threats to critical infrastructure, public health and safety, and our economic and national security.”

Treasury Department spokeswoman Monica Crowley said in a statement that the department does not comment on the specifics of meetings with the president, although she confirmed that the secretary did participate in a meeting with the president to update him on national security recommendations.

“One of the great strengths of the Trump administration is the president’s reliance on strong, often opposing views, to reach decisions which are invariably in the best interests of the American people,” Navarro said in a statement. “Because this is true, it is critical for a strong America that ‘what happens in the Oval Office, should stay in the Oval Office’ so I have no comment on what is clearly a malicious leak riddled with hyperbole and misinformation.”

A tech finance giant shudders

TikTok is considered one of the biggest technological success stories to come out of China. People around the world use the app to make short videos about their lives, pets and dance moves. Parent company ByteDance CEO Zhang Yiming calls it a “window” into the world.

TikTok has 100 million U.S. users, many of whom are under 25 years old. Its success has drawn interest from prominent investors, including Sequoia Capital, a leading Silicon Valley venture capital firm. In 2014, its China arm made a prescient $35 million investment in TikTok’s parent company, giving it a stake that today is reportedly valued at more than $800 million. TikTok’s owner also acquired Musical.ly in 2017 for $1 billion, making it even more attractive to young users.

But with that success came scrutiny. TikTok was first identified as a potential national security threat in summer 2019, when U.S. officials approached ByteDance about concerns regarding its acquisition.

That turned into a formal national security investigation this year. It was led by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), an interagency body that screens foreign investment transactions for national security risks and recommends to the president on security grounds whether certain proposed acquisitions should be rejected or completed acquisitions reversed.

In TikTok’s case, the app has been downloaded more than 175 million times in the United States and, like other apps, accesses copious amounts of sensitive personal data, including Internet and browsing activity, location data and search histories. That information is potentially available to the Chinese government under a national intelligence law that requires any Chinese company to “support, assist and cooperate with state intelligence work.”

The news of the investigation sent shudders through the halls of Sequoia Capital. Global managing partner Doug Leone took the lead on advocating for TikTok with the Trump administration, telling people he could use his influence with Trump to help the company, according to a person familiar with the discussions who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe a private conversation. Leone and his wife have given $100,000 to Trump’s reelection bid, and Leone sits on the president’s task force for reopening the economy, according to public records.

Leone also cultivated his relationship with Mnuchin and the president’s senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner, the person said. Sequoia is a co-investor in a health-care company with Kushner’s brother Josh.

Sequoia spokesperson Natalie Miyake said in a statement it remains supportive of TikTok and the service it provides for millions of people, and looks forward to the company reaching “a win-win solution for all parties” involved that is acceptable to the U.S. government.

Meanwhile, TikTok hired roughly a dozen lobbyists this year, one of whom ran Trump’s campaign in Pennsylvania and has been described by the president as a good friend, according to a person familiar with the company who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss company matters. The lobbyist was a U.S. Military Academy classmate of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who is also seen as a China hawk.

Publicly, TikTok started a campaign to convince the U.S. government that it was not a threat. The company has said that its app is mostly used for entertainment and that the app’s software code does not contain a back door that could be used for government surveillance. It began issuing transparency reports showing law enforcement requests for data and published the company’s source code. In May, Zhang hired Disney streaming chief Kevin Mayer as TikTok’s new CEO.

Zhang also began trying to decouple the company’s technology from China, and has pointed out that all the data on U.S. TikTok users is stored in the United States and backed up in Singapore. He has worked to separate TikTok’s software code and algorithms from the larger ByteDance conglomerate, which owns several apps in China.

Throughout this year, Zhang and his investors were confident that the concerns of the U.S. federal government could be resolved without ByteDance having to spin off TikTok. But things changed quickly after India outright banned the app at the end of June. At that point, the company and investors started hearing a different message from the White House, and it seemed increasingly possible that the anti-China members of the administration would prevail in breaking up the company.

Throughout July, investors and TikTok’s lobbyists, working privately with the administration, scrambled to come up with other plans, and numerous ideas were floated in what one person familiar with the discussions called an “iterative process.”

One plan involved bringing in a third-party U.S. company with knowledge of technology as a contractor to assure the security of TikTok. In another plan, investors proposed spinning off TikTok from ByteDance, with the investors buying a large share of the new independent company but allowing Zhang to maintain control through a minority stake. That plan involved bringing in another technology company as an investor to ensure security, the people said.

Zhang at one point considered relocating ByteDance’s headquarters to London, and moving there personally, to showcase ByteDance as a global company that was not controlled by Beijing, according to another person.

But this summer, as it became increasingly possible that administration hard-liners could prevail in breaking up the company, Zhang grew disappointed with how the process was playing out and approached Microsoft about a sale, according to the people. Zhang had previously worked at Microsoft’s offices in China in 2008 for six months, and maintained an admiration for the company. Earlier this year, he hired 24-year Microsoft veteran Erich Andersen to be ByteDance’s general counsel.

Other tech giants that have the financial wherewithal to buy the company have regulatory challenges that could make an acquisition more complex. The chief executives of Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple all appeared last week before a House subcommittee investigating tech giants’ abuse of their power.

That gives Microsoft significant leverage. TikTok could help the 45-year-old software giant expand into social media, as well as bolster its ambitions to develop artificial intelligence systems, but the company has thrived financially in recent years on the strength of its business selling cloud computing services. That strengthens its hand as it negotiates to acquire TikTok.

Feeling increasingly boxed in, Zhang offered to sell to Microsoft.

A ‘vicious’ Oval Office fight

As the election approaches, Trump has increasingly lashed out at China, blaming it for the novel coronavirus and national security issues. Over the past few months, he has deployed a rarely used order to require the divestment of acquisitions by Chinese firms, as well as issuing executive orders to limit business dealings.

“I think Trump’s instincts are to be aggressive toward China,” said one former U.S. official. “Navarro’s like the devil on his shoulder, saying, ‘Do it, do it.’ Mnuchin is more like a governor, trying to slow everything down — ‘What about Wall Street? What about Phase 2 [of the trade deal]?’”

During the Oval Office meeting, the debate turned into a “vicious” fight, with Trump looking on, one of the people said. They noted that the two advisers have a contentious history: They got into an expletive-filled shouting match during a May 2018 trip to Beijing.

As of last week, the CFIUS agencies were unanimous that TikTok needed an American partner, according to a person familiar with the matter who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal negotiations. TikTok lawyers were working with the administration team on an orderly transition, according to the person. “The expectation at Microsoft and at TikTok was the president was going to sign off on what CFIUS said, and off we go,” the person said. “Instead, it’s just been this roller coaster.”

As Trump went to board the helicopter before flying to Tampa just over a week ago on July 31, he sounded unsure of his plans. “We may be banning TikTok,” Trump told reporters before leaving for Florida. “We may be doing some other things. There are a couple of options. But a lot of things are happening, so we’ll see what happens. But we are looking at a lot of alternatives with respect to TikTok.”

Later that evening, as he flew back aboard Air Force One to Washington, he told reporters he had made a decision to ban it, and that he was not in favor of a deal. By Sunday, Microsoft announced it had persuaded the president and would continue talks with a deadline of Sept. 15.

On Monday, Trump reiterated while speaking to reporters at the White House that he wants TikTok to be forced to cease operations in the United States by around Sept. 15 if it is not sold to Microsoft or another U.S.-based company. If that sale goes through, the president said, part of the proceeds should be paid to U.S. taxpayers as compensation for operating in America.

“A very substantial portion of that price is going to have to come into the treasury of the United States,” Trump said of the potential TikTok sale. “The United States should be reimbursed or paid because without the United States they don’t have anything.”

Tax experts say there is no legal way to take “a substantial portion” for the treasury. But the vague threat allowed him to appear to be imposing a punitive measure on China and TikTok — which some of his aides have pushed for fervently — without taking action so dramatic that it would cause a dangerous escalation.

Lawyers familiar with CFIUS reviews said the treasury does typically collect money during the process, because companies are required to pay modest fees to cover the cost of the review. The fees are based on the size of the proposed transaction and cannot exceed $300,000.

After Trump changed his mind to support a sale to Microsoft, Navarro on Monday accused the tech giant in a CNN interview of being too close to China, citing its prior cooperation with the government and the use of Bing and Skype in the country. He suggested Microsoft could divest its Chinese holdings.

“The question is, is Microsoft going to be compromised?” he asked.

With the clock ticking, analysts expect the purchase price to run into the tens of billions of dollars, a price tag only a handful of companies can afford. Microsoft had $136.5 billion in cash and easy-to-access funds at the end of June.

But those involved in a potential deal were thrown off balance again late Thursday, left in the dark about the president’s plans.

While flying on Air Force One, Trump issued two executive orders effectively banning U.S. transactions for TikTok parent ByteDance, citing national security concerns. An acquisition by Microsoft of TikTok during that period would still be allowed.

“We are shocked by the recent Executive Order, which was issued without any due process,” the company said. “For nearly a year, we have sought to engage with the U.S. government in good faith to provide a constructive solution to the concerns that have been expressed. What we encountered instead was that the administration paid no attention to facts, dictated terms of an agreement without going through standard legal processes, and tried to insert itself into negotiations between private businesses.”

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