Trump Administration Gives TikTok More Time to Reach Deal

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration gave TikTok’s Chinese owner more time to reach a deal to sell the app, after demanding that it div...


WASHINGTON — The Trump administration gave TikTok’s Chinese owner more time to reach a deal to sell the app, after demanding that it divest its interest in the social media service over national security concerns.

President Trump had signed an executive order in August requiring that TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, sell any assets that allowed it to operate the app in the United States by Thursday. That deadline was extended 15 days until Nov. 27, according to a document that TikTok filed Friday in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

The extension keeps in limbo a deal that was aimed at preventing the U.S. government from banning the popular video app. ByteDance has offered to sell stakes in TikTok to the American cloud computing firm Oracle and Walmart. Under the deal, Oracle would supervise TikTok’s data to mitigate concerns that the app could feed customer information about Americans to the Chinese government.

The Trump administration has put pressure on TikTok, where people share lip syncing and other videos, as part of its campaign against China’s influence in the global technology industry. American officials have limited the use of Chinese equipment in 5G wireless networks, taken issue with U.S. companies’ backing undersea internet cables into mainland China and increasingly targeted consumer apps like TikTok and WeChat, a messaging app owned by the Chinese internet giant Tencent.

U.S. officials have said TikTok’s Chinese ownership means the app could send data back to Beijing, under local laws that require Chinese companies to cooperate with government requests. TikTok has denied that its app poses any security threat to Americans, noting that many of its investors are American and that its customer data is not stored in China.

TikTok declined to comment on the extension. The Treasury Department, which is playing a central role in vetting the proposed deal, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Since Mr. Trump’s executive order in August, the administration’s efforts to clamp down on TikTok have met legal resistance.

Under a separate executive order, the Commerce Department released rules in September to force app stores run by Apple and Google to stop hosting TikTok and WeChat. Federal judges have blocked them for now.

TikTok also asked a federal court this week to block the order demanding that ByteDance sell its interest in the app. While Mr. Trump signaled in September that he approved the broad strokes of the deal involving TikTok, Oracle and Walmart, it still needs to be considered by a federal committee that vets foreign investment in the United States.

“In the nearly two months since the president gave his preliminary approval to our proposal to satisfy those concerns, we have offered detailed solutions to finalize that agreement — but have received no substantive feedback on our extensive data privacy and security framework,” a TikTok spokesman said in a statement on Tuesday.

Oracle and Walmart declined to comment.

Monica Crowley, a spokeswoman for the Treasury Department, said in a statement on Friday afternoon that the extension would give the companies “additional time to resolve this case in a manner” that complied with Mr. Trump’s executive order.

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Newsrust: Trump Administration Gives TikTok More Time to Reach Deal
Trump Administration Gives TikTok More Time to Reach Deal
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