US not extending TikTok divestiture deadline, but talks will continue

Platform Industry: TikTok app and Facebook

The Trump administration on Friday chose to not grant ByteDance a brand new extension of an order requiring the Chinese firm to divest TikTok’s American assets, but talks will continue over the short video-sharing app’s destiny, two sources briefed on the matter said.

A Treasury Department representative said on Friday that the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) “is engaging with ByteDance to complete the divestment and other steps necessary to resolve the national security risks.”

Last week, CFIUS allowed TikTok parent ByteDance a one-week extension until Friday over the order to shed TikTok’s US assets.

President Donald Trump’s August order gave the Justice Department the power to enforce the divestiture order when the deadline expired, however, it is unclear when or how the government could seek to compel divestiture.

Trump was stated to have made the decision not to approve any extra extensions at a meeting of senior US officials, according to a person briefed on the meeting. The government had issued a 15-day and seven-day extension of the initial 90-day deadline, which was Nov. 12, in Trump’s arrangement.

The Justice Department didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment, while the White House did not comment.

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The Trump administration claims TikTok poses national security concerns as the private data of US users could be gotten by China’s government. TikTok, that has over 100 million US users, denies the allegation.

Under pressure in the US government, ByteDance was in discussions for weeks to finalize a deal with Walmart Inc and Oracle Corp to change TikTok’s US assets into a new thing aimed to fulfill the divestiture order.

ByteDance made a new proposal aimed at fixing the US government’s concerns, journalists at our partner news agency Reuters reported last week.

ByteDance made the proposition after disclosing on November the 10th that it filed four prior proposals, such as one in November, which sought to address US concerns by “creating a new entity, wholly owned by Oracle, Walmart and existing US investors in ByteDance, that would be responsible for handling TikTok’s US user data and content moderation.”

In September, TikTok announced it had a preliminary agreement for Walmart and Oracle to take bets in a new business to oversee US operations. Trump said that the deal had his “blessing.”

On Nov. 11, ByteDance filed a petition using a US Appeals Court demanding the divestiture order and stated it intended to file a petition “to stay enforcement of the divestment order only if discussions reach an impasse and the government indicates an intent to take action to enforce the order.”

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The Trump administration was stymied in its attempts to restrict TikTok from the United States.

A federal judge in Washington on Sept. 27 blocked a ban on Apple Inc and Alphabet’s Google offering TikTok for download in US app stores, while another estimate on Oct. 30 obstructed government restrictions scheduled to take effect Nov. 12 that ByteDance stated would have effectively barred TikTok from operating in the United States.

A US appeals court will hear arguments on the app shop prohibit on Dec. 14.

The team at Platform Executive hope you have enjoyed this news article. Initial reporting via our official content partners at Thomson Reuters. Reporting by David Shepardson and Echo Wang. Editing by Daniel Wallis and William Mallard.

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