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

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The Trump administration on Friday opted to not grant ByteDance a brand new extension of an order requiring the Chinese language firm to divest TikTok’s US belongings, however talks will proceed over the brief video-sharing app’s destiny, two sources briefed on the matter mentioned.

A Treasury Division consultant mentioned late on Friday the Committee on International Funding in the US (CFIUS) “is participating with ByteDance to finish the divestment and different steps essential to resolve the nationwide safety dangers.”

Final week, CFIUS granted TikTok dad or mum ByteDance a one-week extension till Friday over the order to shed TikTok’s US belongings.

President Donald Trump’s August order gave the Justice Division the ability to implement the divestiture order as soon as the deadline expired, however it’s unclear when or how the federal government could search to compel divestiture.

Trump was mentioned to have personally made the choice to not approve any further extensions at a gathering of senior US officers, in accordance with an individual briefed on the assembly. The federal government had beforehand issued a 15-day and seven-day extension of the preliminary 90-day deadline, which was Nov. 12, in Trump’s order.

The Justice Division didn’t instantly reply to requests for remark, whereas the White Home didn’t remark. TikTok declined to remark.

The Trump administration contends TikTok poses nationwide safety considerations as the non-public knowledge of U.S. customers might be obtained by China’s authorities. TikTok, which has over 100 million US customers, denies the allegation.

Beneath strain from the US authorities, ByteDance has been in talks for months to finalise a cope with Walmart Inc and Oracle Corp to shift TikTok’s US belongings into a brand new entity aimed to fulfill the divestiture order.

ByteDance made a brand new proposal aimed toward addressing the US authorities’s considerations, Reuters reported final week.

ByteDance made the proposal after disclosing on November 10 that it submitted 4 prior proposals, together with one in November, that sought to handle US considerations by “creating a brand new entity, wholly owned by Oracle, Walmart and present US traders in ByteDance, that might be chargeable for dealing with TikTok’s US consumer knowledge and content material moderation.”

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

On November 11, ByteDance filed a petition with a US Appeals Courtroom difficult the divestiture order and mentioned it deliberate to file a request “to remain enforcement of the divestment order provided that discussions attain an deadlock and the federal government signifies an intent to take motion to implement the order.”

ByteDance mentioned the Trump order seeks “to compel the wholesale divestment of TikTok, a multi-billion-dollar enterprise constructed on expertise developed by” ByteDance “based mostly on the federal government’s purported nationwide safety evaluation of a three-year-old transaction that concerned a distinct enterprise.”

The Trump administration has been stymied in its efforts to limit TikTok in the US.

A federal choose in Washington on September 27 blocked a ban on Apple and Alphabet’s Google providing TikTok for obtain in US app shops, whereas one other choose on Oct. 30 blocked authorities restrictions scheduled to take impact November 12 that ByteDance mentioned would have successfully barred TikTok from working in the US.

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

© Thomson Reuters 2020

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