Wednesday , December 2 2020

US grants TikTok 15-day extension on forced-sale deadline

Bloomberg

The Trump administration has given the owner of TikTok another 15 days to resolve national security concerns before it’s required to sell the viral video-sharing app.
The app’s Chinese owner, ByteDance Ltd, said in a court filing that the Committee on Foreign Investment in the US had granted it until November 27 to reach an agreement, extending a deadline. TikTok declined to comment on the filing.
ByteDance challenged the deadline in court in Washington, saying the government hadn’t responded to its
latest efforts to strike a compromise and prevent an enforced sale.
The sale deadline was one element of an array of threats aimed at TikTok by the Trump administration. For months, the app faced the prospect of a US ban that was also set to go into effect on November 12. But federal judges in Washington and Pennsylvania have blocked those prohibitions.
The Commerce Department said that it would comply
with those orders, even as
the government appeals the decisions.
The sale order was part of a separate process overseen by the Treasury Department. The penalties that ByteDance would face if it failed to sell TikTok to a US company by November 12 were never clearly spelled out, though the order said the Justice Department could take “any steps necessary” to enforce the sale.
The US contends that TikTok is a national security threat, saying it could give China’s government access to the personal data of millions of Americans because it’s owned by a Chinese company. President Donald Trump has made the battle over TikTok a central front in his broader crackdown on the influence of China’s technology industry in the US.
But he has said nothing about TikTok since last week’s election, focussing instead on his legal battles to upend the vote. In its court filing challenging the November 12 sale deadline, ByteDance said it hadn’t heard back from Cfius after offering a compromise to resolve the government’s national security concerns and avoid a forced sale.
ByteDance had sought US approval for a deal to sell a stake in the app to Oracle Corp and Walmart Inc before the deadline. That agreement appears to be in limbo amid court fights and the election.

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