President Donald Trump has issued another executive order giving TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, 90 days to divest TikTok’s operations in the United States. The Trump administration has been pressuring the Chinese social media company to sell the video-clip sharing platform to a U.S company for weeks now.
Originally, ByteDance had a September 15 deadline to find a buyer for TikTok’s U.S. operations, now it has until November 12th. The restriction was imposed on transactions with the company in the previous executive order August 7 over the privacy and security concerns of American users on the app.
Trump Gives ByteDance 90 Days
President Trump said that “there is credible evidence” leading him to believe ByteDance “might take action that threatens to weaken the national security of the United States.” Previously, Trump gave ByteDance to find a buyer within 45 days before adding TikTok to the U.S. entity list, which could force American tech giants such as Apple and Google to drop the video-clip sharing app from their app stores.
The latest executive order demands ByteDace to destroy all data of its American users and to report to the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States once all the data has been destroyed. The order also requires ByteDance to destroy any data collected from TikTok’s predecessor app, Musically, which the company acquired in 2017. This order provides more clear guideline which the previous order did not include.
Microsoft to Acquire TikTok
Currently, Microsoft is the only company which is interested in acquiring the video-clip sharing app. The software giant said that it would continue negotiations to acquire the app from its parent company and its potential deal with ByteDance could provide “proper economic benefits to the United States.”. The deal would allow TikTok’s operations in the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand to be controlled by the software giant. Prior to the latest executive, Microsoft said that the discussions with ByteDance would be wrapped up by September 15th.
Earlier in the month, The Wall Street Journal reported that Twitter held preliminary talks about a possible merger with ByteDance, but it is unlikely that such a merger could take place keeping Twitter’s market value in mind.
Recently, it was also reported that TikTok plans to file a lawsuit against President Trump, calling his actions unconstitutional.