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US extends deadline for the sale of TikTok


US extends deadline for the sale of TikTok

Photo: Lionel Bonaventura/AFP

The United States Committee on Foreign Investment has extended the deadline for the sale of TikTok by parent company ByteDance from today to December 4.

Departing US President Donald Trump issued the original order in August, which required ByteDance to sell TikTok’s US operations by November 12 or be banned from US app stores. Under pressure from the Trump administration, which cited the app as a national security risk, ByteDance is considering a joint Walmart Inc and Oracle Corp bid to take control of the app’s US operations. However, ByteDance would remain a stakeholder in the new potential entity, TikTok Global. Even so, many regulatory, practical and political concerns remain.

The end of the Trump presidency complicates the situation as it remains unclear as to what President-elect Joe Biden’s approach towards TikTok will be. Considering the hurdles the case has faced thus far, it seems unlikely that the deal will go through by the end of the current administration’s term. Biden has remained reluctant to disclose his stance and the future of the app will likely depend on the course of US–China relations. Nevertheless, the dilemma posed by TikTok’s access to US consumer data is likely to spur the Biden administration to address data security going forward.

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