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Trump Will Not Extend Deadline on TikTok Sale


On Thursday, U.S. President Donald Trump said that he would not extend the Sept. 20 deadline imposed by an August executive order compelling Chinese company ByteDance to sell the U.S. operations of short-form video app TikTok

As that deadline approaches, the sale of TikTok to another company is becoming increasingly unlikely as the Chinese government and the U.S. have to approve the deal, and given the current relationship between the two countries, an agreement is somewhere between slim and none. On top of that, Trump has said that he would oppose a sale of TikTok’s U.S. operations to retailer Walmart, one of the suitors who aligned with Microsoft to make an offer for tens of billions of dollars. Other companies vying for a purchase of TikTok include Oracle and Twitter, according to reports.

China recently revised export restrictions forcing companies to secure a special license for the transfer of algorithms, text analysis, AI technologies, and more. TikTok uses this kind of software technology, which means ByteDance will need a special license from the Chinese government in order to finalize any sale. 

With a deal unlikely to happen before Sept. 20, Trump opposing Walmart as a buyer, and China and the U.S. unlikely to agree on the sale, ByteDance is running out of options.

Should that deadline pass, the next step is likely that the U.S. government orders Apple, Google, and other app stores related to iOS and Android devices to remove the app. 

TikTok may get some relief in Federal Court where it has filed a lawsuit against the U.S. government in late August. Employees have also filed lawsuits seeking an injunction against the government’s deadline because it would limit TikTok’s ability to pay them should it be forced to shut down.

There’s also a lot of confusion on the actual deadline date. Trump has mentioned Sept. 15 several times as the deadline date, but that doesn’t match the executive orders issued in August. On Aug. 15, ByteDance was given 45 days from the date of the executive order as a deadline. That timeline would make the deadline Sept. 29.



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