Since August, U.S. President Donald Trump was vigorously pursuing a TikTok ban in the country on the basis of national security concerns. However, it seems like the app might survive the ban, all thanks to the U.S. Presidential elections and with Joe Biden’s victory. The New York Times reports that the Trump administration intends to let the Friday, December 11, 2020 deadline lapse and will carry on talks to settle a deal with ByteDance, TikTok’s Chinese parent company, without a deadline this time.
The most recent deadline given to ByteDance for the imposition of the ban was December 4, one of many. Last month, TikTok said in a statement that it was cooperating with the CFIUS (Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States ) to clarify the national security concerns even if it did not agree with the allegations. However, the app complained that President Trump did not give any feedback on TikTok’s proposed solutions on data privacy and security which had left the company wondering if it was still being banned.
TikTok ban deadline will lapse
A person familiar with the discussion told the publisher that the Trump administration does not plan to take any punitive actions against TikTok after the deadline’s lapse and added that even if the administration wanted to follow up on the threat, it was unable to give a clear action plan on how it would enforce the deadline. The report states:
But while the White House did not extend the deadline for a deal again, it also plans to take no immediate action in response to the lapsed cutoff, said the person with knowledge of the discussions, who was not authorized to speak publicly. That will allow talks over a possible deal to continue.
It was unclear exactly how the administration would enforce the deadline even if it wanted to do so. A spokeswoman for the Treasury Department said in a statement that the federal panel reviewing the deal was “engaging with ByteDance to complete the divestment and other steps necessary” to deal with the administration’s national security concerns.
In the past few months, TikTok was a very hot topic not only in social and tech circuits but also in the White House. Bypassing a series of executive orders, President Trump pushed for a TikTok ban in the United States and ordered its acquisition by an American company. He claimed that the app’s U.S. operatives were selling American users’ data to China, therefore, TikTok was a threat to the country’s national security. In addition, he also ordered a ban of WeChat, another Chinese social media company, in the U.S. on the same accusation.
Both Chinese companies categorically denied selling or sharing their users’ information with the Chinese government. However, ByteDance was prepared to sell its U.S operations to a local company. Walmart and Oracle were expected to close the acquisition deal with TikTok before the ban but everything changed after Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 U.S. Presidential elections. It was also reported that Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, was influencing President Trump’s decision to ban TikTok in the country and scrutinize Apple.