ByteDance has until December 4 to find its TikTok app a US buyer.
As reported by PC Mag, the company was granted the extension by the US’ Committee on Foreign Investment. A Treasury spokeperson said via a statement, "The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) has granted ByteDance a one-week extension, from November 27, 2020 to December 4, 2020 to allow time to review a revised submission that the Committee recently received”.
Prior to this extension, ByteDance’s deadline for selling off TikTok was to be November 27, itself the result of another extension.
Although the move gives TikTok a temporary reprieve, it highlights how uncertain its future in the US remains despite a deal being reported in September. Back then, it was said that TikTok would be owned by a new company called TikTok Global with its headquarters being in the US. In addition, Oracle and Walmart were to have a 12.5% and 7.5% stake in TikTok Global respectively. It’s currently unclear if that deal will actually manifest.
The Trump administration remains adamant on banning the Chinese app, which it says presents a security concern. On November 22, Bloomberg reported US National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien as saying, “We’re now looking -- those court cases are ongoing, so the federal government will wait and see what our courts tell us we can or can’t do with respect to those bans. I think ultimately the president’s authority with those bans on those apps will be enforced. And I think even if there’s a change in administration, those bans will take place.”
As for the incoming Biden administration, a technology advisor for the president-elect’s transition told CNBC in November 11 that it was “too early to say” what Biden’s views on the app were. However, as noted by CNBC, the Biden campaign had instructed its staff to delete TikTok over security concerns back in July.