US Not Extending TikTok Divestiture Deadline, But Talks to Continue: Sources



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

A Treasury Branch representative said late on Friday the Committee on Foreign Investment in america (CFIUS) “is engaging with ByteDance to total the divestment and other steps essential to get to the bottom of the national security risks.”

Final week, CFIUS granted 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 Branch the power to enforce the divestiture order once the deadline expired, but it is unclear when or how the government may seek to compel divestiture.

Trump used to be said to have personally made the decision not to approve any extra extensions at a assembly of senior US officials, according to a person briefed on the assembly. The government had in the past issued a 15-day and seven-day extension of the initial 90-day deadline, which used to be Nov. 12, in Trump’s order.

The Justice Branch did not immediately respond to requests for remark, while the White House did not remark. TikTok declined to remark.

The Trump administration contends TikTok poses national security concerns as the personal data of U.S. users could be obtained by China’s government. TikTok, which has over 100 million US users, denies the allegation.

Under pressure from the United States government, ByteDance has been in talks for months to finalise a maintain Walmart Inc and Oracle Corp to shift TikTok’s US assets into a new entity aimed to satisfy the divestiture order.

ByteDance made a new proposal aimed at addressing the United States government’s concerns, Reuters reported final week.

ByteDance made the proposal after disclosing on November 10 that it submitted four prior proposals, including one in November, that 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 satisfied moderation.”

In September, TikTok announced it had a preliminary deal for Walmart and Oracle to take stakes in a new company to supervise US operations. Trump said the deal had his “blessing.”

On November 11, ByteDance filed a petition with a US Appeals Court challenging the divestiture order and said it deliberate to dossier a request “to stay enforcement of the divestment order only whether discussions reach an deadlock and the government indicates an mean to do so to enforce the order.”

ByteDance said the Trump order seeks “to compel the wholesale divestment of TikTok, a multi-billion-dollar commerce built on technology developed by” ByteDance “based on the government’s purported national security review of a three-year-old transaction that involved a different commerce.”

The Trump administration has been stymied in its efforts to confine TikTok in america.

A federal pass judgement on in Washington on September 27 blocked a ban on Apple and Alphabet’s Google offering TikTok for download in US app stores, while another pass judgement on on Oct. 30 blocked government restrictions scheduled to take effect November 12 that ByteDance said would have effectively barred TikTok from operating in america.

A US appeals court will hear arguments on the app store ban on December 14.

© Thomson Reuters 2020

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