The US government will not offer ByteDance a further extension to complete the divestment of the US assets of its popular video sharing service TikTok, which was ordered by President Donald Trump in August, Reuters sources said.
The Chinese company is in talks with Walmart and Oracle on a deal, which would transfer ownership of its US operation to a new entity to comply with the Trump executive order. The US administration labeled TikTok a national security threat, claiming that it exposes personal data of American users to the Chinese government.
ByteDance, which denied the allegations, started negotiations on the divestment scheme, but has not completed it so far. The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) had twice granted extensions to implement the deal, which Trump said had his “blessing”. But no more delay will be accepted now, as the deadline expired on Friday, Reuters reported citing anonymous sources.
Trump reportedly personally made a decision to deny further reprieve during a meeting with senior US officials. Negotiations with ByteDance on shedding its US assets will still continue.
Earlier in November ByteDance filed a petition with the US Appeals Court challenging Trump’s order. It said it will seek to block its enforcement, should negotiations on the proposed deal “reach an impasse”.
The company previously successfully overturned through a court a US government order to remove TikTok from app stores, keeping it available for new downloads in the US. There are an estimated 100 million users of the service in the country.
Beijing sees Washington’s pressure against ByteDance as a form of “national bullying” fitting a wider pattern of discrimination against Chinese businesses.
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